The contacts test for personal jurisdiction measures the amount of contact a particular defendant has had with a state.
The contacts test is used to determine when it is appropriate for a court in one state to assert personal jurisdiction over a defendant from another state. The United States Supreme Court has decided a number of cases that have established and refined the principle that it is unfair for a court to assert jurisdiction over a party unless that party’s contacts with the state are such that the party “could reasonably expect to be haled into court” in that state. This jurisdiction must “not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.”
The Supreme Court in the 1945 case of International Shoe Company v. Washington[i] decision departed from the strict territorial view of personal jurisdiction and placed more focus on “fairness of a particular state court’s exercise of jurisdiction over the defendant in the light of the defendant’s connection with the state”.
[i] 326 U.S. 310 (U.S. 1945)