Case of the Day: Sunflower Bank v. H.P. Construction Ltd.
Posted on April 12, 2012
The case of the day is Sunflower Bank, N.A. v. H.P. Construction Ltd. (D. Kan. 2012). The claim was for conversion of construction equipment. HP defaulted, and Sunflower moved for entry of default judgment. The judge wanted to satisfy himself on proper service of process. He wrote that the return of service showed that the document had been served by a process server on a person who acknowledged herself to be an agent for service of process. I don’t see any acknowledgement of the recipient’s status as an agent on the return of process itself, but it seems clear from Exhibit C to the complaint that Sunflower served the summons and complaint at the address of H.P.’s registered agent for service of process in British Columbia. I am assuming without checking that British Columbia provides for service on the registered agent of a corporation.
The judge cited Article 10(b) of the Hague Service Convention as the provision under which the papers were properly served. Article 10(b) provides “judicial officers, officials or other competent persons of the State of origin [may] effect service of judicial documents directly through the judicial officers, officials or other competent persons of the State of destination.” This provision is sufficient, since under US laws (at least as reflected in the United States’s responses to Hague Conference questionnaires) US lawyers are competent to transmit documents for service abroad. Article 10(c), which provides for service of process by “any person interested in a judicial proceeding to effect service of judicial documents directly through the judicial officers, officials or other competent persons of the State of destination,” reaches the same result. Canada has not objected to either method.