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Eeuwen v. Heidelberg Eastern Inc.

Decided: June 11, 1973.

JACOB VAN EEUWEN, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-RESPONDENTS,
v.
HEIDELBERG EASTERN, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT, AND HEIDELBERGER DRUCKMASCHINEN AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT. JOSEPH E. CERTISIMO, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-RESPONDENTS, V. HEIDELBERG CO., ET AL., DEFENDANTS-THIRD PARTY PLAINTIFFS, V. HEIDELBERGER DRUCKMASCHINEN AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT, THIRD PARTY DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Kolovsky, Matthews and Crahay. The opinion of the court was delivered by Kolovsky, P.J.A.D.

Kolovsky

In each of the above matters plaintiff sued to recover damages for injuries received while operating, on behalf of his employer, a printing press manufactured by defendant Heidelberger Druckmaschinen Aktiengesellschaft (HDAG), a German corporation. Each plaintiff alleged that his injuries were caused by defects in the printing presses which had been purchased by the respective employers of plaintiffs from Heidelberg Eastern, Inc., a Delaware corporation.

HDAG appeals, on leave granted, from orders denying its motion to quash the service of process made upon it in each case pursuant to the "long arm" service provision set forth in so much of R. 4:4-4 (c)(1) as reads as follows:

If it appears by affidavit of plaintiff's attorney or of any person having knowledge of the facts that after diligent inquiry and effort personal service cannot be made upon any of the foregoing and if the corporation is a foreign corporation, then, consistent with due process of law, service may be made by mailing, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the summons and complaint to a registered agent for service, or to its principal place of business, or to its registered office.

The sole issue involved in the two consolidated appeals is whether the trial courts erred in rejecting HDAG's contention that "it is beyond the reach of jurisdictional due process with respect to an action in the courts of the State of New Jersey."

The only proofs before the trial courts on HDAG's motions appeared in the affidavit of Dr. Keese, its secretary. (For some unexplained reason, HDAG did not serve a copy of

its motion in the Van Eeuwen action on its codefendant, Heidelberg Eastern, Inc. The codefendant did not appear. Although HDAG's notice of motion in Certisimo was served on Heidelberg Eastern, Inc., the latter did not file an answering affidavit in the trial court. However, when the matters came before this court on HDAG's applications for leave to appeal and for consolidation of the appeals, a consent order was entered granting, among other things, permission to Heidelberg Eastern, Inc. to file an affidavit with respect to the issue of jurisdiction, and to HDAG to file an answering affidavit. Those affidavits have been filed and, pursuant to the stipulation of the parties, will be considered by us.)

Dr. Keese's original affidavit set forth that HDAG is a German corporation which manufactures and sells its printing presses in Germany to companies doing business in a number of countries, including the United States. The affidavit continued:

Title to said printing presses is transferred to the other companies and payment is made to [HDAG] outside the United States of America. All manufacturing and selling activities of [HDAG] are carried on outside of the United States.

Title to the printing presses and parts which are to be sold in the United States passes in Germany to Heidelberg Eastern, Inc., a New York corporation which is an importer of Heidelberg Printing Presses and parts in the United States. Heidelberg Eastern, Inc. transacts all business on its own behalf and is not an agent of [HDAG]. [HDAG] does not own any of the shares of stock of Heidelberg Eastern, Inc.

Further, according to Dr. Keese, HDAG has no personnel in the United States; it "does no business in New Jersey"; it has no office, place of business, property, bank account or telephone listing there; it does not ship its products into New Jersey; it does not advertise or solicit business or pay taxes in ...


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