The following is a summary of Buskirk v. Buskirk what is a recent and important case that discussed the reach of California’s jurisdiction in trust/probate court cases – note, the reach of California courts is very long.
Buskirk v. Buskirk (August 14, 2020) 53 Cal. App. 5th 523 – holding that personal jurisdiction rules are the same for trust proceedings as they are for civil proceedings – i.e., California’s jurisdictional reach is long, personal jurisdiction depends on the connections that the defendant, and/or the facts, and/or the assets that are at issue, had or have with California
affirms the view of personal jurisdiction that I have followed in probate court cases – i.e., that California’s jurisdictional reach is long, but, of course, it is not unlimited. Broadly viewed, the approach is: (1) was or is the defendant located in California, or (2) to what extent did the relevant facts or actions occur in California, or (3) to what extent were or are the assets that are at issue located in California? In Buskirk for example, the court held that California does have jurisdiction over the settlor/trustee although she used to be but now no longer was located in California. The court evaluated the history of the settlor/trustee’s actions in California, the relevant facts and actions that had occurred in California, and the extent that the assets that were at issue were located in California.
The opinion in Buskirk also is helpful because it is fairly long and detailed as to the various different facts that were involved and that the Court considered. There are a lot of facts in Buskirk
that are also present or that could also be present in a typical California probate court case. Below you will find a summary of the opinion including some quotes from the court.
Best to you, David Tate, Esq. (and inactive California CPA) – practicing in California only