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Can a Court gain jurisdiction over a foreign general partnership that has no statutory agent?

Phoenix, AZ |

If a foreign (true) general partnership of which operates as its own entity distinct from its general partners commits a tort, is there anyway in which the Court (within the state the tort is committed) can gain jurisdiction of the general partnership entity itself, or would the lawsuit have to be filed either in federal court or a court in which the foreign general partnership entity is based?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

To answer this questions any lawyer would need more information about the circumstances of the tort and what you mean by foreign. It is also not clear which court you are referring to. Technically, however, there is no blanket prohibition against a state or federal court (federal courts are located within states and also apply state law) and gaining jurisdiction over a general partnership, even a foreign one, regardless of the statutory agent issue. There are many technical issues that would affect service of process and the application of various jurisdictional tests. More information would be needed about your particular situation.

Asker

Posted

Landlord in Arizona files eviction against tenant. Tenant has potential counterclaims against landlord and landlord's managing agent. The managing agent of the property, however, is a true general partnership with its principal place of business in a different state (California), and has no statutory agent to serve in the state of Arizona. For the purpose of compulsory counterclaims (rule 13a), its my understanding that they would not have to be asserted at the time of the original action if its adjudication requires third parties of which the original court has no jurisdiction. As such, I'm trying to determine whether or not the general partnership being from another state would mean I don't have to file my counterclaims in the original action as compulsory counterclaims?

Asker

Posted

The eviction was filed in lower court (justice court), and the claims I wish to file against the landlord and the managing agent-general partnership (of which is not a party to the original action) I'd like to file in a higher court (Superior Court).

Maxim Volsky

Maxim Volsky

Posted

It sounds like your are representing yourself in this case. I suggest you consult with an Arizona attorney. You raise complex issues of jurisdiction, which are impossible to answer without a deep dive into the fact of the case. However, I would not assume that Arizona courts don't have jurisdiction over the CA entity. For example, courts can gain personal jurisdiction over companies registered in other states if such foreign companies have sufficient contacts with those states. If the management company does business in Arizona, that is probably enough to gain personal jurisdiction.

Asker

Posted

Thank you, I greatly appreciate it. I will definitely need to consult with an AZ attorney on this. With regards to Rule 13(a) on compulsory counterclaims, when it says "unless the adjudication requires the presence or addition of third parties that the court cannot attain jurisdiction", does that rule generally refer to parties that literally need to be added to the lawsuit (as additional parties), or would that also include third party witnesses who have knowledge of the matter?

Posted

The only way to know for sure is to sue or be sued and see if the court grants or denies a motion for lack of jurisdiction. There is not simple answers to this situation.

Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.

Posted

If the tort occurred in Arizona, and the tort was done on behalf of the partnership, then most likely Arizona courts are going to have jurisdiction over the partnership. Depending on the type of tort, there might be a fight over whether it "occurred" in Arizona, and there might also be a fight over whether the tort was "done on behalf of the partnership." But that's the general rule that the court will apply in deciding whether it has jurisdiction.

This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

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