Can the States and Private Parties Assert Jurisdiction Over Foreign Defendants ?
In Hartford Fire Insurance Co. v. California, 509 U.S. 764, 125 L. Ed. 2d 612, 113 S. Ct. 2891 (1993), the Court held that states and private parties could assert jurisdiction over foreign defendants under the federal Sherman Anti-Trust Act even if the laws in the foreign state encouraged the conduct prohibited by the Act. 509 U.S. at 798.
In explaining the jurisdictional basis for the case, the Court stated, "it is well established by now that the Sherman Act applies to foreign conduct that was meant to produce and did in fact produce some substantial effect on the United States." Id. at 796.
The Court in Hartford did not address jurisdiction in the context of effects upon a state of the United States of alleged criminal activity on a foreign ship in international waters by a United States citizen who is not a Florida resident.
In Strassheim v. Daily, 221 U.S. 280, 285, 55 L. Ed. 735, 31 S. Ct. 558 (1911), the Court held that a state may extradite a person accused of a crime from another state if the alleged crime was begun by an overt act in the state that is attempting to extradite.
Strassheim does not support an argument that Florida's prosecution of a crime that indisputably began and ended in international waters is authorized because of alleged effects on the State of Florida.