Transient Jurisdiction Law and Legal Definition

Transient Jurisdiction refers to personal jurisdiction over a defendant who is served with process while in the forum state only temporarily such as during travel. Transient jurisdiction is based on service within the forum of a nonresident defendant passing through the state, and has been upheld by the Supreme Court in Burnham v. Superior Court of Cal., 495 U.S. 604 (U.S. 1990). In this case, the court held that state courts have jurisdiction over nonresidents who are physically present in a state. Each state has the power to hale before its courts any individual who can be found within its borders, and that once having acquired jurisdiction over such a person by properly serving him with process, a state can retain jurisdiction to enter judgment against him, no matter how fleeting his visit. Where a party is within a territory, he may justly be subjected to its process, and bound personally by the judgment pronounced, on such process, against him.