M07 Assignment: Case Assessment


Due process in the enforcement of judgments 

Koster v. Automark 

640 F.2d 77 (N.D. Ill. 1980)

-On November 23, 1970, plaintiff Koster and defendant Automark Industries Incorporated (“Automark”) consummated a five-month course of negotiation by entering into an agreement whereby Automark promised to purchase 600,000 valve cap gauges during 1971. As a result of Automark’s alleged breach of this agreement, plaintiff brought an action for damages in the District Court in Amsterdam, 3rd Lower Chamber A. On October 16, 1974, plaintiff obtained a default judgment in the number of Dutch Florins 214,747,50—$66,000 in American currency at the rate of exchange prevailing on December 31, 1971—plus costs and interest. Plaintiff filed this diversity action on January 27, 1978, to enforce that foreign judgment. 

-The case now is before the Court on plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Fed.R.Civ.P) 56(a). Defendant contests this motion on three grounds: (1) that service was inadequate, (2) that defendant lacked the minimum contacts necessary to render it subject to in personam jurisdiction in Amsterdam, and (3) that defendant has meritorious defenses to the action which it could not present in the foreign proceeding. For the reasons that follow, however, the Court finds defendant’s contentions unavailing. 

– Accordingly, the Court finds that plaintiff is entitled to enforcement of the foreign judgment. Thus, plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment is granted. It is so ordered. 

 Case Questions

1. Why do you think Automark did not go to Amsterdam to contest this claim by Koster? 

2. Why does the Illinois court engage in a due process analysis of personal jurisdiction? 

3. What if the letter of agreement had an arbitration clause? Would the court in Amsterdam have personal jurisdiction over Automark? 

4. Student Feedback Question. How was your experience reviewing and responding to the case?

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