The amount and kind of activities which must be carried on by the foreign corporation in the state of the forum so as to make it reasonable and just to subject the corporation to the jurisdiction of that state are to be determined in each case. The corporate activities of a foreign corporation which, under state statute, make it necessary for it to secure a license and to designate a statutory agent upon whom process may be served provide a helpful but not a conclusive test. For example, the state of the forum may by statute require a foreign mining corporation to secure a license in order lawfully to carry on there such functional intrastate operations as those of mining or refining ore. On the other hand, if the same corporation carries on, in that state, other continuous and systematic corporate activities as it did here -- consisting of directors' meetings, business correspondence, banking, stock transfers, payment of salaries, purchasing of machinery, etc. -- those activities are enough to make it fair and reasonable to subject that corporation to proceedings in personam in that state, at least insofar as the proceedings in personam seek to enforce causes of action relating to those very activities or to other activities of the corporation within the state.
A nonresident of Ohio filed suit against several respondents, including an incorporated foreign mining company. The mining company had been carrying on a limited but continuous and systematic part of its general business in the state. The foreign company filed a motion to quash on the ground that the petitioner's cause of action did not arise in Ohio and did not relate to the company's activities there. The Supreme Court of Ohio sustained the foreign company's motion to quash.
Can the Due Process Clause precluded Ohio from subjecting a foreign corporation to the jurisdiction of its courts in an action in personam?
The U.S. Supreme Court held that the company's continuous and systematic in-state activities, including directors' meetings, business correspondence, banking stock transfers, and payment of salaries, were enough to make it fair and reasonable to subject the company to proceedings in personam, at least insofar as the proceedings sought to enforce causes of action related to those very activities or to other activities within the state. As such, it did not violate federal due process for Ohio to either take or decline jurisdiction of the company.