Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz

471 U.S. 462 (1985)

Facts

Rudzewicz (D) and MacShara entered into a franchise contract with Burger King (P). P was incorporated in Florida. The franchise contract said that it was to be governed by the laws of Florida. D's franchise was located in Michigan and the contract allowed D to use P’s trademarks and service marks for a period of 20 years in Michigan. All of P's financial obligations were sent to Florida. D also attended training in Florida. D defaulted on the contractual obligations, and P brought a diversity suit against D. D claimed they did not have sufficient contacts with Florida for that state to exercise jurisdiction. The court found that jurisdiction was proper under a long-arm statute that held jurisdiction for anyone who breaches a contract within the state. The trial court awarded P both damages and injunctive relief. D moved to dismiss on the basis that personal jurisdiction was lacking. The motion was denied at the trial level, but the judgment was reversed on appeal. The court of appeals held that while Ds did have the necessary contacts with Florida, an exercise of jurisdiction would be fundamentally unfair and infringe due process. P appealed.