If a person has a disability, whether physical or psychological, that would make traveling out of state/country a hardship for them, will the courts grant that person's state personal jurisdiction over the defendant?

2 Answers 2



In general, there is no need for a plaintiff, defendant, or witness to attend court in person if there is a legitimate impediment to them doing so.

Parties can be represented by their lawyers, testimony can be made by affidavit, cross-examination can be conducted over Zoom. During the recent pandemic, entire cases, both criminal and civil have been dealt with without anyone meeting up in person.

  • And, to continue the thought one more step. A court in another state that does have jurisdiction might very well have a legal obligation to accommodate the disabled litigant in the logistics of the case that is resolves, even though its jurisdiction over the case would be undisturbed, by, for example, some of the means that you suggest in your answer.
    – ohwilleke
    Jul 23, 2021 at 21:34

While agreeing with the points of Dale M, it is also true if you can argue that such remedies may not provide for a fair trial, generally, “ubi jus ibi remedium”, or Civ. Code § 3523. “For every wrong there is a remedy” could be a last resort.

In the City and County of San Francisco, judges typically are willing to cross pretty much any rules of court and potentially other laws to accord with the above maxim when it comes to vulnerable populations, e.g. people with disabilities.

Civ. Code § 3520 and § 3521 may also play a role in assuming jurisdiction if one would otherwise supposed to be assumed jurisdiction over.

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