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Contracting for Personal Jurisdiction in Florida Courts

Is it enough that a non-Florida resident or entity agrees in a contract to submit to the personal jurisdiction of the Florida courts in any contract dispute pertaining to such contract if the non-Florida resident has no other relationship to this state?

Typically, parties are free to contract for whatever they desire and, so long as the agreement does not contravene public policy, it will be enforceable. But what about personal jurisdiction? Many people do not realize the insignificance of agreeing in a contract to submit to the personal jurisdiction of the Florida courts when the party agreeing has no other relationship to this state. Just because a party agrees in a contract to be subject to the personal jurisdiction of the Florida courts does not necessarily mean that the Florida courts will automatically exercise personal jurisdiction over that party when the party has no other relationship to this state. This holds true even where a contracting party has allegedly breached a contract by failing to pay money in the state of Florida. There are, however, a few statutory exceptions that may allow for a party to contractually submit to the personal jurisdiction of Florida courts so consultation with Florida counsel is important to know your rights.

If you are a non-Florida resident who has been sued in Florida because you have entered into a contract agreeing to submit to the personal jurisdiction of the Florida courts but have no relationship to this state, you must raise an objection to personal jurisdiction immediately or risk waiving the right to challenge jurisdiction forever and be forced to defend the lawsuit in Florida and worse, suffer a potentially disastrous judgment in the state of Florida. Rosenthal Law Group can analyze your case, advise you as to personal jurisdiction issues and challenge personal jurisdiction seeking to force the case to be litigated in your home state.

What if you haven’t yet entered a contract but it contains a clause requiring you to submit to Florida jurisdiction for litigation? Rosenthal Law Group can assist you in negotiating the terms of a contract to best protect you from having to submit to the jurisdiction of Florida courts.

Call our offices at (954) 384-9200 today.

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