Can a Warrant in Debt from Virginia Be Enforced in Florida?
A warrant in debt is a summons to a defendant to appear in court because they are being sued for a debt. In personam jurisdiction is obtained when the respondent/ defendant is properly served with a summons and complaint either by certified mail, by personal service, or by publication (only rarely used and only when the address of the respondent/defendant is unknown). An out-of-state defendant may be served with the complaint under a state's long-arm statute if the requirements for exercising long arm jurisdiction and due process requirements are met. If the defendant is out of state, due process requires that they must be shown to have contacts in the forum state of such a nature that they could reasonably foresee being sued in that state. Whether minimum contacts exist so that the court has personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant is a determination made based upon the facts and circumstances in each case. Minimum contacts can be established by consent where a party signs a contract with a forum selection clause, agreeing to litigate in a specified forum. If minimum contacts don't exist, the defendant must be sued in the state where they reside or regularly conduct business.
In order to serve a defendant with the state's long arm statute, the defendant must have minimum contacts with the state. Minimum contacts can consist of either some type of systematic and continuous contact with the forum ("general jurisdiction"), or isolated or occasional contacts purposefully directed toward the forum ("specific jurisdiction"). A single contact can suffice to establish personal jurisdiction, but where jurisdiction is based on a single contact, the nature and quality of the contact is determinative. The principal test of foreseeability in a due process analysis "is that the defendant's conduct and connection with the forum state are such that he should reasonably anticipate the possibility of defending a suit in the forum. Ownership of property in the state may satisfy this requirement.