Harkness v. Hyde – Case Brief
Harkness v. Hyde, 98 U.S. 476 (1878).
Facts: A writ of attachment was served upon Harkness (D), a resident of the Shoshonee reservation, by the sheriff of Oneida County on behalf of Hyde (P). Harkness appeared specially and moved to dismiss the action on the grounds that the service made was outside the bailiwick of the sheriff and without jurisdiction of the court. The motion was overruled by the Supreme Court of the Territory of Idaho and preceded to trial wherein an eventual final verdict of $2,500 in favor of Hyde was entered and affirmed on appeal. Harkness appealed.
Issue: Is service valid if it is made outside the territorial limits of the court’s jurisdiction?
Holding and Rule (Field): No. Service is not valid if it is made outside the territorial limits of the court’s jurisdiction.
There can be no jurisdiction in a court of a Territory to render a personal judgment against anyone upon service made outside its limits. An act of Congress made the Shoshonee reservation out of the boundaries of the Territory of Idaho until the tribe signified its assent to the President to be included within the Territory. The Territory of Idaho has no jurisdiction over the tribe. In this case service of process was defective and the court did not have personal jurisdiction over Harkness.