We are losing sight of the key issue here. The issue isn't when a new State's Courts obtain Personal Jurisdiction over a person, but when the old State's courts LOSE
I would take the position that a State's Courts obtain personal jurisdiction over a person for debt issues (as opposed to civil torts like motor vehicle accidents) as soon as that person establishes residency in that State. My research about the "delayed jurisdiction" keeps going back to the issue of expired Statutes of Limitations. Arizona's law in that respect is typical:
12-507. Action against person removing to this state
No demand against a person who removes to this state, incurred prior to his removal, shall be barred by the statute of limitation until he has resided in this state one year, unless barred at the time of his removal to this state by the laws of the state or country from which he migrated.
Debts not barred by the new State's SOL or the old State's SOL remain subject to suit. THAT is the issue here.
So.... what does one have to do to establish legal residence? Let's look into that.
The only place in Arizona's laws that actually defines "Resident" is found in the Arizona Income Tax Law:
19. "Resident" includes:
(a) Every individual who is in this state for other than a temporary or transitory purpose.
(b) Every individual who is domiciled in this state and who is outside the state for a temporary or transitory purpose. Any individual who is a resident of this state continues to be a resident even though temporarily absent from the state.
(c) Every individual who spends in the aggregate more than nine months of the taxable year within this state shall be presumed to be a resident. The presumption may be overcome by competent evidence that the individual is in the state for a temporary or transitory purpose.
(note: This is a public document of the State of Arizona)
So.... according to the Tax Law, "residence" rests on two principles:
1: Physical Presence and
2: Intention to Stay
When does "residency" begin? When both of those two tests are met. That happens the moment your stuff starts being off-loaded from the truck into your new home.
I realize this is a stretch because it does not directly relate to debt but it is informative on what Legislatures look for in determining whether a person is a "resident" of that State or not. The general principle is that it is easy to establish residency (States will gladly let you live there) and hard to break that residency (States try hard not to let you terminate residency). A great example of this principle is shown in Wisconsin's Nonresident Pub 122 instructions:
Domicile – Your domicile is the permanent legal home you intend to use for an indefinite or unlimited period, and to which, when absent, you intend to return. It is not always where you presently live. You can be physically present or residing in one state but maintain a domicile in another. "Domicile" is often referred to as "legal residence." You can have only one domicile at a time. Your domicile, once established, is never changed unless all three of the following occur or exist:
• You specifically intend to abandon your old domicile and take actions that show that intent
• You intend to acquire a new domicile and take actions that show that intent, and
• You are physically present in the new domicile.
Your domicile does not change if:
• You leave your state of domicile for a brief rest or vacation, or
• You leave your state of domicile to complete a particular transaction, perform a particular contract, or fulfill a particular engagement, but you intend to return to your state of domicile whether or not you complete the transaction, contract, or engagement.
Note: This is a public document of the State of Wisconsin
So, it all depends on your actions and intentions after you move.
Here is a link to an excellent essay on this topic: It deals with moving from California (a particularly aggressive State where it comes to not wanting to give up residents) to Nevada (a State that doesn't care): http://www.cbiz.com/page.asp?pid=9496
A quote from this article:
There is a rebuttable presumption that the taxpayer is a resident unless the individual can establish that he or she is outside of California for more than a temporary or transitory purpose. An individual can generally rebut this presumption, if his or her close connections are outside of California.
For the executive to in fact be domiciled in and a resident of Nevada, he must show strong ties with Nevada. He should spend the majority of his time in Nevada while spending minimal time in California; establish the Nevada residence as his principal residence by moving his spouse and children; obtain Nevada voter and driver’s registration; register his vehicles in Nevada; join civic and religious organizations in Nevada; and perform any other activities that will establish a close connection with Nevada.
The bottom line: To break residency you burn your bridges to your old State behind you and establish new bridges to your new State. It must be a complete break. And the more new bridges the better.
So... when does your old State lose jurisdiction over you? I would be able to argue that the old State loses jurisdiction when a new State gains it, otherwise a person becomes subject to two different (and possibly conflicting) laws simultaneously. Imagine if you will being subject to and not being subject to Community Property Laws at the same time.
Will the Courts recognize this: Probably.