Specific Jurisdiction In Connecticut
In Thomason v. Chemical Bank, 234 Conn. 281, 661 A.2d 595, 601 (Conn. 1995), the Supreme Court of Connecticut held that the phrase "arising out of" in the Connecticut long-arm statute "does not require a causal connection between the defendant's forum-directed activities and the plaintiffs' lawsuit."
Connecticut's long-arm statute, however, provides that a suit must arise out of the defendant's contacts with the state in order to permit Connecticut's courts to exercise either general or specific jurisdiction.
The court recognized that if the words "arising out of" were construed as imposing a causation requirement, "the statute would limit our courts to the exercise of 'specific' jurisdiction and prohibit our courts from exercising any 'general' jurisdiction." 661 A.2d at 600-601.
The court sensibly reasoned that the legislature had not intended to exclude general jurisdiction entirely, but had elected instead to enact a more restrictive test for general jurisdiction than the Constitution requires. 661 A.2d at 602.
In fact, Thomason was brought and decided as a general jurisdiction case. 661 A.2d at 603-605.
Significantly, the court explained: Some federal courts have suggested, in dicta, that specific jurisdiction may be exercised without proof of a causal connection between the defendant's forum-directed activities and the lawsuit.
All of those courts, however, have based their conclusion on the fact that the specific jurisdiction test merely requires that the cause of action "arise out of or relate to" the defendant's forum-directed activities. . . . Thus, even if the constitutional test for specific jurisdiction does not require a causal connection between the defendant's contacts with the forum and the lawsuit, it is only because that test contains not only the "arising out of" language, but also the "relating to" language.
If the constitutional test employed only the "arising out of" language, a causal connection would be required. 661 A.2d at 600 n.4 the District's statute, of course, does not contain the words "relate to."