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Law School Case Brief

McGee v. Int'l Life Ins. Co - 288 S.W.2d 579 (Tex. Civ. App. 1956)

Rule:

Section 1612 of the California Unauthorized Insurers Process Act provides that such service of process may be made by delivering to and leaving with the Commissioner or some person in apparent charge of his office two copies thereof. The Commissioner shall forthwith mail by registered mail one of the copies of such process to the defendant at its last known principal place of business, and shall keep a record of all process so served upon him. Section 1613 provides that such service of process in the manner provided in § 1612 is valid and sufficient, and gives jurisdiction over the person of such insurer, provided notice of such service and a copy of the process are sent within 10 days thereafter by registered mail by plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney to the defendant at its last known principal place of business, and the defendant's receipt, or receipt issued by the post office with which the letter is registered, showing the name of the sender of the letter and the name and address of the person to whom the letter is addressed, and the affidavit of the plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney showing a compliance herewith are filed with the clerk of the court in which such action is pending on or before the date the defendant is required to appear, or within such further time as the court may allow.

Facts:

McGee, the insurance beneficiary, filed an action to recover the policy proceeds in California after her son's death. The insurance company was a Texas corporation and it did not sell insurance in California, nor did it have any offices or employees in that state. It agreed to reinsure some of the policies of an Arizona insurance company and, as a result, it mailed a reinsurance certificate and premium notices to the insured in California. McGee subsequently obtained a default judgment against the insurance company. The trial court ruled that the California court lacked personal jurisdiction over the insurance company. McGee appealed.

Issue:

Did the California court obtain personal jurisdiction over an insurance company in Texas?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The court affirmed the trial court's judgment, concluding that the California court had not obtained personal jurisdiction under the California Unauthorized Insurers Process Act because the insurance company did not have sufficient minimum contacts with California to satisfy due process concerns.

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