Jurisdiction Over Subsidiary's Actions

In Handlos v. Litton Industries, Inc., 304 F.Supp. 347, 348 (E.D.Wis.1969) the court considered whether two wholly owned subsidiaries, which plaintiff served with process on behalf of their nonresident parent corporation, were the parent's agents or alter egos, so that the parent was "doing business" under the Wisconsin long-arm statute through them. 304 F. Supp. 347, 348 (E.D. Wis. 1969). The Handlos court concluded there was sufficient evidence of both, and it denied the motion to dismiss. 304 F. Supp. at 350-351. The Hayeland v. Jaques 847 F. Supp. 630, 632 (E.D. Wis. 1994) court first noted that, when a federally created right is at issue, the Fifth Amendment's due process clause applies, rather than that of the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. It then adopted the minority view that, to determine personal jurisdiction when a federal question is involved, the court need look only to a defendant's "national contacts," rather than to its contacts with the state in which the federal court sits: When exercising the power of the national sovereign, logic suggests that a federal court is not limited by the same constitutional concerns that limit the power of a state sovereign. Of course, a forum state's long-arm statute must still be satisfied. . . . But once the requirements of the long-arm statute are met, the only due process concern should be whether the defendant has sufficient national contacts such that the exercise of jurisdiction by the nation's courts under the nation's laws does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. Here, it is clear that the nonresident defendant has extensive contacts with the United States. the only remaining question is whether jurisdiction is satisfied under Wisconsin's long-arm statute. Id. at 634. The Hayeland court then concluded that the nonresident defendant was amenable to suit under the Wisconsin long-arm statute through the actions of its Wisconsin subsidiary, because case law interpreting that statute had held a subsidiary's actions could be so considered. Id. In contrast, a "national contacts" analysis does not apply in state court, and Hayeland was decided under statute, not the due process clause.