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U.S. Supreme Court

Perkins v. Benguet Consolidated Mining Co., 342 U.S. 437 (1952)

Perkins v. Benguet Consolidated Mining Co.

No. 85

Argued November 27-28, 1951

Decided March 3, 1952

342 U.S. 437


A foreign corporation, owning gold and silver mines in the Philippine Islands, temporarily carried on in Ohio (during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines) a continuous and systematic, but limited, part of its general business -- consisting of directors' meetings, business correspondence, banking, stock transfers, payment of salaries, purchasing of machinery, etc. While engaged in doing such business in Ohio, its president was served with summons in an action in personam against the corporation filed in an Ohio state court by a nonresident of Ohio. The cause of action did not arise in Ohio, and did not relate to the corporation's activities there. A judgment sustaining a motion to quash the service was affirmed by the State Supreme Court.


1. The Federal Constitution does not compel Ohio to open its courts to such a case -- even though Ohio permits a complainant to maintain a proceeding in personam in its courts against a properly served nonresident natural person to enforce a cause of action which does not arise out of anything done within the State. Pp. 342 U. S. 440-441.

2. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment also does not prohibit Ohio from granting such relief against a foreign corporation. Old Wayne Life Assn. v. McDonough, 204 U. S. 8, and Simon v. Southern R. Co., 236 U. S. 115, distinguished. Pp. 342 U. S. 441-447.

3. As a matter of federal due process, the business done by the corporation in Ohio was sufficiently substantial and of such a nature as to permit Ohio to entertain the cause of action against it, though the cause of action arose from activities entirely distinct from its activities in Ohio. Pp. 342 U. S. 447-449.

4. It not clearly appearing, under the Ohio practice as to the effect of the syllabus, whether the Supreme Court of Ohio rested its decision on Ohio law or on the Fourteenth Amendment, the cause is remanded to that court for further proceedings in the light of the opinion of this Court. Pp. 342 U. S. 441-449.

155 Ohio St. 116, 98 N.E.2d 33, vacated and remanded.

Page 342 U. S. 438

In two actions in an Ohio state court, the trial court sustained a motion to quash the service on the respondent foreign corporation. The Court of Appeals of Ohio affirmed, 88 Ohio App. 118, 95 N.E.2d 5, as did the State Supreme Court, 155 Ohio St. 116, 98 N.E.2d 33. This Court granted certiorari. 342 U.S. 808. Judgment vacated and cause remanded, p. 342 U. S. 449.

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