New York State Court of Appeals
Enforcement — Personal Jurisdiction
Landauer Limited v. Jo Monani Fish Co., Inc.
Background: The plaintiff, a British company, entered into a number of contracts with the defendant, a New York company. The contracts included a clause granting the courts of England exclusive jurisdiction over disputes arising over the transactions. After the defendant refused payment, an English high court entered a default judgment against the defendant. The plaintiff sought to enforce the judgment, moving for summary judgment in lieu of complaint. The defendant argued it was not properly served. The plaintiff appealed from the denial of its motion.
Ruling: The Court of Appeals reversed. The court held that, while a foreign judgment will not be enforced if the foreign court did not obtain jurisdiction over the defendant, an exception may be made if, the defendant had agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of the foreign court with respect to the subject matter involved and was provided fair notice, which was the case here.
Diane Westwood Wilson for the appellant; N. Ari Weisbrot for the respondent