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Calder v. Jones
October 4, 2010
Calder v. Jones
Shirley Jones, an entertainer and resident of California, brought a lawsuit against the tabloid The National Enquirer. In Calder v. Jones, she sued the magazine distributor, the author of the story, and the president and editor-in-chief Calder for an article in the magazine alleging that Jones was an alcoholic. The National Enquirer is written and edited from the state of Florida; however, Jones filed the lawsuit in California where she resided. Because the magazine has a large circulation in California, the plaintiff filed the lawsuit in California state court. The original case was dismissed however, by the state court citing the First Amendment protected free speech. The California court of appeal reversed the decision by the California state court and was later upheld by the state supreme court because both courts believed that The National Enquirer intended to cause emotional distress to Jones.
The basis for the case against the National Enquirer was the article written and published by the magazine for defamation of character, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress (Cheeseman, 2010). The US Supreme Court needed to ascertain the personal jurisdiction for the lawsuit and whether or not a California resident can sue a Florida resident for libel through the California court system.
The US Supreme Court turned to the 14th amendment of the US Constitution. The Due Process Clause permits personal jurisdiction over a defendant regardless of which state he or she resides in when that individual has certain minimum contacts and does not offend "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice" (FindLaw.com, 2010, para. 4). In this case, The National Enquirer circulation is about...