South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Sale of Dogs in Oklahoma to Illinois Resident Creates Illinois Court Jurisdiction over Dispute
Description Appeals court held that a resident of Illinois who traveled to Oklahoma to buy dogs from a breeder could sue in Illinois courts as the courts have personal jurisdiction. The Oklahoma breeder had an active commercial website to sell the dogs and used the phone and mail to discuss sales.
Topic Court Procedure
Key Words Personal Jurisdiction; Long-Arm Statute; Minimum Contacts
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Bombliss lives in Illinois and breeds Tibetan mastiffs. Cornelsen lives in Oklahoma and breeds the same kind of dog and advertises them nationally. Bombliss went to Oklahoma to buy two dogs for $2,000 each and noted to Cornelsen that some of her dogs looked sick. The dogs Bombliss bought were to be of breeding quality and guaranteed free of genetic defects. Cornelsen posted information on a Tibetan mastiff chat room that cast into doubt the breeding quality of the dogs Bombliss bought. That affected his ability to sell dogs. He sued Cornelsen in Illinois court for interference with prospective business advantage and defamation. The trial court dismissed the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. Bombliss appealed.

Reversed and remanded. The contacts between Cornelsen and Illinois are sufficient to satisfy due process to establish personal jurisdiction under the state's long-arm statute. Cornelsen maintained an active commercial website. There were long-distance telephone discussions about the sale of dogs. The mails were used to send information about the dogs. Information about the supposed defects of the dogs offered for sale in Illinois was posted on the Internet by Cornelsen. Those facts establish sufficient minimum contacts as Cornelsen purposefully entered into business in Illinois and the cause of action relates to that business.

Citation Bombliss v. Cornelsen, --- N.W.2d --- (2005 WL 475376, App. Ct., Ill., 2005)

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