Civil Procedure – Jurisdiction – Service of Process on Foreign Television Corporation

Defendant, a West Virginia corporation, operated a television station in Huntington, West Virginia. Its telecasts regularly reached into Boyd County, Kentucky, where part of its customary viewing audience was located. During a twelve-month period in 1954-1955 the corporation derived $71,310.30 in advertising revenue from Kentucky firms, although the contracts for this advertising were made outside Kentucky. In the course of a newscast defendant published an alleged libel against plaintiff, and suit was brought in Boyd County Court. Substituted service of process was made on the Secretary of State in accordance with the Kentucky “doing business” statute, and defendant then removed the action to the federal district court. That court, in finding for the plaintiff, held that it had proper diversity jurisdiction since the Boyd County Court had obtained valid personal jurisdiction over the defendant. On appeal, limited to the jurisdictional question, held, affirmed. The substituted service of process on defendant was authorized by the Kentucky statute and was consistent with the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. WSAZ, Inc. v. Lyons, (6th Cir. 1958) 254 F. (2d) 242.