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Civil Procedure Keyed to Babcock
Phillips Petroleum Co. v. Shutts
Citation:472 U.S. 797 (1985)
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- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
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- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Plaintiff Shutts, a royalty owner with rights to the leases from which Defendant Phillips produced gas, brought a class action lawsuit in Kansas state court alleging the class members were owed interest on late royalty payments. The court certified the class consisting of plaintiffs from all states, some territories, and foreign countries. Shutts sent every class member a letter via first-class mail notifying them that they could appear in the action or else they would be represented by Shutts. There was also a letter titled “request for exclusion” on which they could choose to opt out of the class. The final class consisted of 28,100 members. 90%+ of the class members and leases had no connection to Kansas. After trial the Kansas state court found Phillips liable under state law for the royalties. Phillips appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court. On appeal Phillips challenged personal jurisdiction over the absent class members and that the opt out notice was not sufficient to bind opt out members that were not Kansas residents or did not have minimum contacts with the state. Phillips also argued the trial court should not have applied Kansas law to all the claims but should have applied the relevant state laws based on where the leases were located. The Supreme Court of Kansas affirmed the lower court decision. The Supreme Court granted Phillips’ certiorari.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
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