Jewish Defense Organization, Inc. v. Superior Court (Rambam), 72 Cal.App.4th 1045, 85 Cal.Rptr.2d 611 (1999) (full-text).
Trial Court Proceedings
The court was asked to determine whether a case could be brought in California by a New York plaintiff against a New York defendant, based on the fact that (i) the defendant had contracted with three Internet service providers with offices or databases in California to provide web hosting services for its website and (ii) the defendant's website can be viewed in California. Rambam had sued for defamation and for illegally registering his name as a domain name.
The court held that neither of these grounds, either standing alone or together, met the “purposeful availment” requirement for the exercise of long-arm jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant. The court relied on the distinctions made by the court in Zippo Mfg. Co. v. Zippo Dot Com, Inc., to find the site a “passive” site, which would not generally trigger application of the state's long-arm statute: “A passive Web site that does little more than make information available to those who are interested in it is not grounds for the exercise of personal jurisdiction.”
- 952 F. Supp. 1119 (1997) (full-text).