Delaware’s long-arm statute provides jurisdiction over defendants who are not residents of the State of Delaware.  Rather, the statute provides the courts of this State with jurisdiction over a defendant who “in person or through an agent . . . [t]ransacts any business or performs any character of work or service in the State . . . [or c]auses tortious injury in the State by an act or omission in this State.”  10 Del. C. § 3104(c).  Jurisdiction of this nature may also include co-conspirators, who are treated as agents of a conspirator. The agency and co-conspirator theory of jurisdiction may even apply to conspiracy with an entity.

As artfully stated in the recent decision of Reid v. Siniscalchi, a “conspiracy theory is . . . not an independent jurisdictional basis, but a way to impute a conspirator’s conduct to a co-conspirator not otherwise subject to the Court’s jurisdiction.”  To determine whether jurisdiction over a co-conspirator exists, the Court utilizes a five part test.  To succeed, a plaintiff must present proof of each of the following five elements:

(1) a conspiracy to defraud existed; (2) the defendant was a member of that conspiracy; (3) a substantial act or substantial effect in furtherance of the conspiracy occurred in the forum state; (4) the defendant knew or had reason to know of the act in the forum state or that acts outside the forum state would have an effect in the forum state; and (5) the act in, or effect on, the forum state was a direct and foreseeable result of the conduct in furtherance of the conspiracy.  Id. at 13.

The Reid decision may be read in its entirety here.