Is a Nonresident Bank Subject to Personal Jurisdiction by Accepting a Check ?

In Gateway Leasing, Inc. v. American Bank (D.Md. 1984) 577 F. Supp. 908 and Froning & Deppe, Inc. v. Continental Ill. Nat. Bank & Trust Co. (7th Cir. 1982) 695 F.2d 289, the courts held a nonresident bank is not subject to personal jurisdiction merely by accepting an endorsed check from the forum state and remitting the check for collection through a clearinghouse bank. In Resolution Trust Corp. v. First of America Bank (C.D.Cal. 1992) 796 F. Supp. 1333, the issue presented was whether a nonforum bank was subject to personal jurisdiction in California by accepting wire transfers from a California bank through a national electronic fund clearinghouse system. (Id. at p. 1334.) The court stated that participating in a national clearinghouse service was analogous to having telephone service allowing people from around the world to contact the bank to perform transactions. (Id. at p. 1336.) Those contacts, the court concluded, were insufficient to support jurisdiction because "such technology which makes banking services more accessible to customers does not commit the bank to national jurisdiction without some affirmative action to avail itself of a particular forum." (Ibid.)