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HILFERTY v. NEESAN
October 17, 1980
Mary Amelia HILFERTY
Elizabeth NEESAN and Florence Neesan
The opinion of the court was delivered by: GILES
On January 8, 1978, a Pennsylvania citizen, while visiting defendants' residence located in the State of New Jersey, fell down stairs in their home and sustained certain injuries allegedly due to defendants' negligence. On January 7, 1980, but within two years of the accident, plaintiff filed suit in this court asserting subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
Defendant now moves to dismiss on the ground that this court lacks in personam jurisdiction. Plaintiff vigorously contests dismissal and petitions for transfer of the case to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
Rule 4(e), Fed.R.Civ.P., provides for service of process on a non-resident party pursuant to the statutes of the state in which the district court is held. Plaintiff contends that defendants are subject to service of process under Pennsylvania's Long Arm Statute, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5322(a). However, even reading the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, as we must, Empire Abrasive Equipment v. H. H. Watson, Inc., 567 F.2d 554, 557 (3d Cir. 1977), Vannaarden v. Grassi, 488 F. Supp. 720, 722 (E.D.Pa.1980), it is apparent that there are no allegations which satisfy any of the statutory requisites. In relevant part, Section 5322(a) reads as follows:
(a) General rule. A tribunal of this Commonwealth may exercise personal jurisdiction over a person (or the personal representative of a deceased individual who would be subject to jurisdiction under this subsection if not deceased) who acts directly or by an agent, as to a cause of action or other matter arising from such person:
(1) Transacting any business in this Commonwealth. Without excusing other acts which may constitute transacting business in this Commonwealth, any of the following shall constitute transacting business for the purpose of this paragraph:
(i) The doing by any person in this Commonwealth of a series of similar acts for the purpose of thereby realizing pecuniary benefit or otherwise accomplishing an object.
(ii) The doing of a single act in this Commonwealth for the purpose of thereby realizing pecuniary benefit or otherwise accomplishing an object with the intention of initiating a series of such acts.
(iii) The shipping of merchandise directly or indirectly into or through this Commonwealth.
(iv) The engaging in any business or profession within this Commonwealth, whether or not such business requires license or approval by any government unit of this Commonwealth
(v) The ownership, use or possession of any real property situate within this Commonwealth.
(2) Contracting to supply services or things in this Commonwealth.
(3) Causing harm or tortious injury by an act or omission in this Commonwealth.
(4) Causing harm or tortious injury in this Commonwealth by an act or omission ...
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