Case of the Day: ISPEC, Inc. v. Tex R.L. Industrial, Inc.
Posted on September 11, 2014
The case of the day is ISPEC, Inc. v. Tex R.L. Industrial, Inc. (D.N.J. 2014). ISPEC served process on Tex R.L. in Taiwan by Fedex, by email to its US counsel, and by a local process server, who served the summons on an unidentified employee of Tex R.L. in Taipei. On the basis of this service, ISPEC obtained a default judgment, and Tex R.L. moved to vacate.
Taiwan is not a party to the Hague Service Convention. ISPEC did not seek leave to make service by alternate means under FRCP 4(f)(3), nor did it arrange for a letter rogatory to a Taiwanese court such that FRCP 4(f)(2)(B) could be in play. So the question was whether one or more prongs of FRCP 4(f)(2)(A) or (C) supported the service.
Rule 4(f)(2)(C) was a non-starter. Personal service is not an available method of service on a foreign corporate defendant, and the service by Fedex failed to satisfy FRCP 4(f)(2)(C)(ii) because the package was sent by ISPEC, not the clerk.
Nor did the service comply with Taiwan domestic law so as to satisfy FRCP 4(f)(2)(A). Under Article 123 of the Taiwan Code of Civil Procedure, service generally must be effected by the clerk, and ISPEC made no request to the clerk.
The judge, therefore, correctly vacated the default judgment.