Bochan v. La Fontaine

In Bochan v. La Fontaine (E.D.Va. 1999) 68 F. Supp. 2d 692, the court found that use of an ISP's computer hardware in Virginia to publish defamatory statements was a sufficient act in Virginia to establish personal jurisdiction over the defendant. (At p. 699.) In our view, this decision is incorrect, and we decline to follow it. Defendants who are "mere customers of Internet service providers that happen to maintain offices or databases in California" would not reasonably expect that they could be sued in California based on that fact alone, no matter where they were solicited or received Internet services. (Jewish Defense Organization, Inc. v. Superior Court (Rambam), supra, 72 Cal.App.4th at p. 1061.) By contracting with an ISP whose computer happens to be located in California, defendants do not intentionally "'avail themselves of the . . . benefits and protections of the state's laws.'" ( Id. at p. 1058.)