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Rule 120a. Special Appearance (1976)


1. Notwithstanding the provisions of Rules 121, 122 and 123, a special appearance may be made by any party either in person or by attorney for the purpose of objecting to the jurisdiction of the court over the person or property of the defendant on the ground that such party or property is not amenable to process issued by the courts of this State. A special appearance may be made as to an entire proceeding or as to any severable claim involved therein. Such special appearance shall be made by sworn motion filed prior to plea of privilege or any other plea, pleading or motion; provided, however, that a plea of privilege and any other plea, pleading, or motion may be contained in the same instrument or filed subsequent thereto without waiver of such special appearance; and may be amended to cure defects. The issuance of process for witnesses, the taking of depositions, the serving of requests for admissions, and the use of discovery processes, shall not constitute a waiver of such special appearance. Every appearance, prior to judgment, not in compliance with this rule is a general appearance.

2. Any motion to the jurisdiction provided for herein shall be heard and determined before a plea of privilege or any other plea or pleading may be heard. No determination of any issue of fact in connection with the objection to jurisdiction is a determination of the merits of the case or any aspect thereof.

3. If the court sustains the object to jurisdiction, an appropriate order shall be entered. If the objection to jurisdiction is overruled, the objecting party may thereafter appear generally for any purpose. Any such special appearance or such general appearance shall not be deemed a waiver of the objection to jurisdiction when the objecting party or subject matter is not amenable to process issued by the courts of this State.

Amended by order of July 22, 1975, eff. Jan. 1, 1976: Words are added in the third sentence which permit amendments to the special appearance motion.

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
April 12, 1962, eff. Sept. 1, 1962 June 15, 1983, eff. Sept. 1, 1983
  April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990