Under the first prong of the "minimum contacts" test, plaintiff has the burden of establishing that defendant has performed some act or consummated some transaction within the forum or otherwise purposefully availed himself of the privileges of conducting activities in the forum. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has refined this to mean whether defendant has either (1) "purposefully availed" himself of the privilege of conducting activities in the forum, or (2) "purposefully directed" his activities toward the forum. Although the Ninth Circuit sometimes uses the phrase "purposeful availment" to include both purposeful availment and direction, availment and direction are, in fact, two distinct concepts. Thus, in order to satisfy the first prong of the "minimum contacts" test, plaintiff must establish either that defendant (1) purposefully availed himself of the privilege of conducting activities in the forum state, or the United States as a whole, or (2) that he purposefully directed its activities toward one of those two forums.
The B & B owner operated under the same name as the resort and advertised its services, which did not include a golf course, at a non-interactive website, which included general information about its accommodations and restaurant. The resort contended that the B & B owner was subject to personal jurisdiction in California, or alternatively, in any forum in the U.S., because he expressly aimed tortious conduct at the U.S. and the state.
Does the State of California have jurisdiction over the British bed and breakfast?
The court held that the B & B owner did not purposefully avail himself of the privilege of conducting activities in California or purposefully direct his activities toward the state. The B & B owner's passive website and domain name alone did not satisfy the Calder effects test, and there was no other action expressly aimed at California or the U.S. that would have provided the required "something more" for personal jurisdiction. Additionally, the fact that the B & B owner worked in California at some point in his past did not constitute "individualized targeting" of the state to show purposeful availment. The court also upheld the denial of additional jurisdictional discovery since it would not have been helpful.