CLAY V. SUN INS. OFFICE, LTD., 377 U. S. 179 (1964)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Clay v. Sun Ins. Office, Ltd., 377 U.S. 179 (1964)

Clay v. Sun Insurance Office, Ltd.

No. 470

Argued April 28, 1964

Decided May 18, 1964

377 U.S. 179


Petitioner, a few months after purchasing from respondent insurance company in the State where he then resided a personal property floater insurance policy, which barred a claim thereunder twelve months after discovery of loss, moved to and became a resident of the forum State, which permitted claims up to five years after loss notwithstanding contract provisions requiring earlier legal action. Invoking diversity jurisdiction, petitioner brought this action in the Federal District Court of the forum State to recover damages under the policy more than a year after discovery of the loss which occurred in that State. After certification to and resolution by the State Supreme Court of certain local law questions following remand by this Court, the Court of Appeals held that application to the contract of the five-year statute of limitations would violate due process.

Held: Application of the statute of limitations of the forum State is consistent with due process and full faith and credit requirements where the activities of the parties to an ambulatory personal property insurance contract were ample within the forum State; the policy made no provision that the law of the state of contract would govern; respondent insurance company had knowledge when it sold the policy that the petitioner might move his property anywhere; and it knew that he had moved to the forum State, where respondent was also licensed to do business and must have known that it could be sued. Pp. 377 U. S. 180-183.

319 F.2d 505, reversed.

Page 377 U. S. 180

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