This blog, written by Thomas E. Rutledge, focuses primarily on business entity law in Kentucky. Postings on contract law, contractual and statutory construction, and the entity law of other jurisdictions appear as well. There may as well be some random discussions of classical, medieval and renaissance history.
Friday, September 5, 2014
Pro Se Defendant Prevails in Challenge to Service of Complaint
Defendant Prevails in Challenge to Service of Complaint
Snider v. McIntosh, No. 2012-CA-001634-MR (Ky. App. Sept. 5, 2014).
Donald Snider brought suit against Terry McIntosh, a
resident of Louisiana.A Louisiana
sheriff delivered the complaint not to Terry but to his wife.Later, although on exactly what date was not
recorded, Terry received another copy of the complaint and summons by certified
mail.When Terry did not file an answer
to the complaint within 20 days of the date it was delivered to his wife Snider
moved for a default judgment.Even
though an answer was filed the day the motion for default was filed, the trial
court granted a default judgment in Snider’s favor.
On appeal, Snider argued that the
delivery of the complaint to his wife, and not to him, was not sufficient to
start the clock for the 20 day deadline to file an answer.Relying upon R.F. Burton & Burton Tower Co. v. Dowell Division of Dow Chemical
Co., 471 S.W.2d 708 (Ky. 1971), which in turn cites decisions going back to
1858, the Court of Appeals easily determined that delivery of the complaint to
the spouse was not sufficient to effect valid service.
The Court ordered a reversal of the
default judgment and further proceedings, presumably was to when service by
certified mail was made.A concurring
opinion by Judge VanMeter would direct that the remand direct the matter to
proceed on the merits as an answer has been filed.