The Washington Court of Appeals recently shed light on the reach of Washington’s Long-Arm Statute in divorce proceedings involving a long-distance marriage. In Oytan v. David-Oytan (PDF), the court addressed whether the responding party in dissolution, who has never lived full-time in Washington, can nonetheless be said to have “liv[ed] in a marital relationship within this state” and thus fall within the reach of Washington’s Long-Arm Statute? Applying the interpretive principle that different statutory terms must be presumed to have different meaning, the court ruled that the Long-Arm Statute clause “living in a marital relationship within this state” does not have the same meaning as “resident of the state.” Thus, the court ruled, full-time past residence is not required for personal jurisdiction to exist. Rather, whether personal jurisdiction exists must be considered in light of the totality of the circumstances surrounding the marriage whether the party had sufficient minimum contacts with the state.
Continue Reading Personal Jurisdiction in Long-Distance Marriage Dissolution: Past Full-Time Residency Not Required Says Washington Court of Appeals