United States Supreme Court
495 U.S. 604 (1990)
Dennis Burnham (plaintiff) and Francie Burnham were married from 1976 until July 1987, at which point they decided to separate. At that time, they were living in New Jersey with their two children. They agreed to divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences and that Francie would move to California, where she would have custody of both children. She moved to California, and in October 1987, Dennis filed for divorce in the state of New Jersey on the grounds of desertion, but never attempted to serve her. In January 1988, while in California for business and to visit his children, Dennis was served with a California court summons and Francie’s divorce petition. Subsequently, he returned to New Jersey. Later that year, Dennis filed a motion to quash on the basis that it was a violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment for California to assert jurisdiction over him, because he lacked the minimum contacts necessary for personal jurisdiction. The superior court denied the motion, and the California Court of Appeal denied mandamus relief, holding that it was enough that Dennis was present in the forum and personally served with process. Dennis appealed, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)
Concurrence (White, J.)
Concurrence (Brennan, J.)
Concurrence (Stevens, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 236,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.