Federal Courts-Jurisdiciton-District Court Transfer of Action Under Section 1406(a) Without Jurisdiction Over Person of Defendant
In 1956 plaintiff corporation brought a private antitrust action against various persons and corporations in a federal district court in Pennsylvania. Service was made upon defendant corporations by means of alias summonses in New York where they were amenable to suit. Since defendant corporations were not inhabitants of, “found,” or transacting business in Pennsylvania, venue was improper there and the extraterritorial service of- process provision of the Clayton Act was not available to plaintiff. Defendant corporations moved to dismiss for lack of in personam jurisdiction. Instead, however, the court, invoking section 1406(a) of the Judicial Code, transferred the action in 1958 to a federal district court in New York. The latter court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss on the ground that the transfer was unauthorized because the Pennsylvania court lacked personal jurisdiction over defendants. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed, with one judge dissenting. On certiorari to the Supreme Court, held, reversed, two Justices dissenting. When it is “in the interest of justice,” section 1406(a) authorizes the transfer of cases whether the transferor court has personal jurisdiction over the defendants or not. Goldlawr, Inc. v. Heiman, 369 U.S. 468 (1962).