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Int'l Shoe Co. v. Wash.

Supreme Court of the United States

November 14, 1945, Argued ; December 3, 1945, Decided

No. 107

Opinion

 [*311]  [**156]  [***99]    MR. CHIEF JUSTICE STONE delivered the opinion of the Court.

The questions for decision are (1) whether, within the limitations of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, appellant, a Delaware corporation, has by its activities in the State of Washington rendered itself amenable to proceedings in the courts of that state to recover unpaid contributions to the state unemployment compensation fund exacted by state statutes, Washington Unemployment Compensation Act, Washington Revised Statutes, § 9998-103a through § 9998-123a, 1941 Supp., and (2) whether the state can exact those contributions consistently with the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The statutes in question set [****4]  up a comprehensive scheme of unemployment compensation, the costs of which are defrayed by contributions required to be made by employers to a state unemployment compensation fund.  [*312]  The contributions are a specified percentage of the wages payable annually by each employer for his employees' services in the state. The assessment and collection of the contributions and the fund are administered by appellees. Section 14 (c) of the Act (Wash. Rev. Stat., 1941 Supp., § 9998-114c) authorizes appellee Commissioner to issue an order and notice of assessment of delinquent contributions upon prescribed personal service of the notice upon the employer if found within the state, or, if not so found, by mailing the notice to the employer by registered mail at his last known address. That section also authorizes the Commissioner to collect the assessment by distraint if it is not paid within ten days after service of the notice. By §§ 14e and 6b the order of assessment may be administratively reviewed by an appeal tribunal within the office of unemployment upon petition of the employer, and this determination is by § 6i made subject to judicial review on questions of law by the [****5]  state Superior Court, with further right of appeal in the state Supreme Court as in other civil cases.

In this case notice of assessment for the years in question was personally served upon a sales solicitor employed by appellant in the State of Washington, and a copy of the notice was mailed by registered mail to appellant at its address in St.  [***100]  Louis, Missouri. Appellant appeared specially before the office of unemployment and moved to set aside the order and notice of assessment on the ground that the service upon appellant's salesman was not proper service upon appellant; that appellant was not a corporation of the State of Washington and was not doing business within the state; that it had no agent within the state upon whom service could be made; and that appellant is not an employer and does not furnish employment within the meaning of the statute.

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326 U.S. 310 *; 66 S. Ct. 154 **; 90 L. Ed. 95 ***; 1945 U.S. LEXIS 1447 ****; 161 A.L.R. 1057

INTERNATIONAL SHOE CO. v. STATE OF WASHINGTON ET AL.

Prior History:  [****1]  APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF WASHINGTON.

APPEAL from a judgment upholding the constitutionality of a state unemployment compensation statute as applied to the appellant corporation.

Disposition:  22 Wash. 2d 146, 154 P. 2d 801, affirmed.

CORE TERMS

notice, commerce, courts, salesmen, due process, due process clause, interstate, fair play, contributions, cases, amenable, mail, natural justice, Fourteenth Amendment, merchandise, unemployment compensation, unemployment, obligations, invalidate, authorize, contacts, taxation, orders

Constitutional Law, Commerce Clause, Interstate Commerce, Prohibition of Commerce, International Trade Law, General Overview, Congressional Duties & Powers, Business & Corporate Compliance, Transportation Law, State Powers, Transportation Law, Intrastate Commerce, Civil Procedure, Jurisdiction, In Rem & Personal Jurisdiction, Constitutional Limits, Service of Process, Methods of Service, Service on Agents, Service on Corporations, In Personam Actions, Due Process, Disability & Unemployment Insurance, Unemployment Compensation, Scope & Definitions, Labor & Employment Law