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Shaffer v. Heitner, 433 U.S. 186 (1977).

In Shaffer v. Heitner, the Supreme Court joins judicial and scholarly advocates in the destruction of the distinction between in personam and in rem jurisdiction. Traditionally, the presence of the person or the res formed the basis of the court's power over the dispute. While in rem and quasi in rem actions have continued to be established in this manner, in personam jurisdiction incorporates additional considerations of due process in determining the extent of a court's power. Shaffer adopts this standard for all other types of actions as well, thereby limiting a distressing trend in some courts to stretch in rem and quasi in rem jurisdiction to its constitutional limits.

Following Shaffer, jurisdiction in all types of actions, whether in personam, in rem, or quasi in rem, will be measured by considerations of "fair play and substantial justice," a concept set out in the landmark case International Shoe v. Washington. For in rem and quasi in rem actions, it will no longer be sufficient merely to find property within a court's jurisdiction. Instead, the court must determine whether it would be equitable for the non-resident owner of the property to be subject to the court's power.

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