Case of the Day: Kudu Co. v. Latimer
Posted on September 13, 2011
The case of the day is Kudu Co. v. Latimer (E.D. Tex. 2011). Kudu sued for confirmation of a Thai arbitral award against Latimer. Latimer first moved to dismiss on the grounds that he had not been served with process. The dispute centered on whether Latimer actually resided at the Texas address where he was served with process. The court denied the motion to dismiss, apparently concluding that the address where service was made was Latimer’s “dwelling or usual place of abode,” see Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(e)(2)(B). But when Latimer later moved to dismiss on the grounds that the court could not exercise personal jurisdiction, the magistrate judge concluded that Latimer was a resident of Thailand and recommended granting the motion. This is somewhat curious, for obvious reasons. The magistrate judge sought to square the circle by suggesting that on the evidence before him when he ruled on the first motion. Maybe this is so, but it’s not clear why Latimer wouldn’t have put before the court the evidence regarding his residence when he moved to dismiss on the basis of insufficient service of process.