A long-arm statute is a law that gives a court the mandate to make legal decisions and judgment over a person who is not a member of the state. The judgment on the non-resident defendant depends on the acts the non-resident defendant commits. For the statute to apply, the defendant should have some connection/relation with a state. According to the statute, a court has jurisdiction over a non-resident provided the defendant has minimal contiguity within the court’s jurisdiction.
Long-arm Statute for Florida
A non-resident person in Florida may be subject to jurisdiction in line with Florida’s long-arm statute in two ways. The Florida law § 48.193 outlines various acts that may subject a person to the judgment of a court of the state of Florida. A non-resident may only face jurisdiction in Florida for a claim that arises or relates to the person’s activities in Florida.
A non-resident may subject himself or herself to jurisdiction in the courts of Florida for engaging in certain acts via an agent or personally. Some of the acts include:
• Carrying out a business venture in Florida or operating an agency or an office in the state.
• Engaging in a tortious act within Florida
• Possessing, owning a mortgage of any other lien on real property within Florida
• Contracting for insurance within Florida, the act may include insuring a person, business, or risk
• Inflicting injury to people or property within Florida due to an act or omission by the defendant
• Breaching a contract within Florida by failing to adhere to the requirements of the contract in the state
• Engaging in sexual activities in which a child may have been conceived, this is concerning proceeding for paternity.
The Florida law section 48.193(2) outlines that if a person engages in substantial and not isolated activities in the state, he/she may be subject to general personal jurisdiction. This means the person may face jurisdiction in Florida not related to his/her activities in the state.
Long-arm Statute for Georgia
According to Ga. Code Ann. § 9-10-91, some grounds for exercising personal jurisdiction over nonresidents are similar to those of the state of Florida.
Just like in Florida, Georgia’s court may exercise judgment on a non-resident, or his/her administrator or executor for various acts and omissions in the state. The acts include:
• Engaging in business in the state
• Committing a tortious act or an omission in the state
• Owning, possessing, or using real property located in the state
Georgia’s long-arm statute differs from that of Florida in some ways. In regards to an omission or tortious act within Georgia, there is an exception to a cause of action involving defamation of character due to the act.
Georgia personal jurisdiction law further outlines that a person may be subject to jurisdiction for committing a tortious act or injury in the state through an act or an omission outside Georgia as long as the feasor engages in a persistent and significant course of conducts, solicits business, or obtains substantial income from items used or services provided in Georgia.
Personal jurisdiction statutes in Georgia extend to proceedings for alimony, division of property and child support. These actions are in connection to divorce or an independent action revolving around the support of dependents.