65 A.B.A. J. 1114 (1979)
Shall We Have a Funeral for Erie v. Tompkins

handle is hein.journals/abaj65 and id is 1116 raw text is: Browse
by Arthur John Keeffe
Shall we have a funeral for Erie v. Tompkins?

TONY LEWIS has not reported the Su- which is an Indiana contract, Stat
preme Court of the United States for the Farm was obligated to defend Rush i
New York Times on a day-to-day basis the event of a suit claiming negliger
in a long time. It seems like yesterday  operation of the automobile and to pa
that the Court noted jurisdiction in  any judgment rendered against him.
Baker v. Carr and decided to hear and  No suit was commenced in Indian
not duck gerrymander cases. What a because it has a guest statute th
joyful day that was! Reason enough to  would effectively bar any suit by Sa
do an Irish jig in the press room with  chuk. But is the guest statute of I
Tony, who had written in the Maryland  diana, if it applies, constitutional and
Law Review a beautiful piece urging statute to which another state is obl
the Court to do precisely what it did in  gated to give full faith and credit?
a masterful opinion by Justice Brennan.  In 1973 Savchuk emigrated to Mir
(369 U.S. 186 (1962).)               nesota, which does not have a gues
For me, the happiest day in the Su- statute and where foreign guest statute
preme Court since Baker was February  are not enforced, and attempted to su
21, 1979, when the Court noted juris- Rush by having him personally serve
diction in Rush v. Savchuk (No. 78- in Indiana and by garnishing the Stat
952). The case had come to the Court Farm policy-State Farm being subjec
before at the same term that it decided  to service of garnishment process i
Shaffer v. Heitner, 433 U.S. 186 (1977), Minnesota because it also does busi
and the Court had then remanded it ness there.
(Rush v. Savchuk, 433 U.S. 902 (1977))  Rush and State Farm immediatel
for further consideration in light of raised a federal question, claiming lac
Shaffer.                             of procedural due process. Their mc
In January, 1972, Savchuk was a tion was denied, and the denial a
passenger in an automobile driven by firmed by the Supreme Court of Mir
Rush in Elkhart, Indiana. Both were  nesota (Savchuk v. Rush, 245 N.W. 2
Hoosiers. As a result of an accident, 624 (1976)). This was the case the Su
Savchuk alleges he sustained personal preme Court remanded for considera
injuries. Rush was insured by State tion in the light of Shaffer.
Farm, which does business in Indiana   Shaffer declared unconstitutiona
and most of the other 47 contiguous laws of Delaware that permitted the ir
states. Pursuant to the insurance policy, stitution in Delaware of in rem lawsuit
turtlenecks                                             by Charles Fincher


by attaching or sequestering the stock
an individual holds in a Delaware cor-
poration. Under the Delaware law, this
could be done to a nonresident of Del-
aware even though the stock was
pledged to a bank in San Francisco. The
Court declared that the Delaware pro-
cedure lacked due process absent the
minimum contacts required by Interna-
tional Shoe Company v. Washington,
326 U.S. 310 (1945).
Shaffer questions Harris v. Balk, 198
U.S. 215 (1905). There Epstein of Bal-
timore asserted that Balk of North
Carolina owed him $300. When Harris
of North Carolina who was indebted to
Balk in the amount of $180, made the
mistake of visiting Maryland, Epstein
sued Balk and obtained in rem jurisdic-
tion by garnishing the $180 debt. The
Supreme Court upheld the levy.
The argument in Rush v. Savchuk is
precisely the same. Under the policy
written in Indiana, State Farm brings
into Minnesota a debt it owes Rush.
Savchuk attempts to levy on that debt
in Minnesota.
The case is complicated by Indiana's
guest statute, the constitutionality of
which is doubtful, and it raises the
right of Minnesota courts, state and
federal, to refuse to honor the law and
statutes of another state even when

1114 American Bar Association Journal

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