Case of the Day: Styslinger v. Styslinger

The case of the day is Styslinger v. Styslinger (Conn. Super. Ct. 2014). The plaintiff wanted to serve a post-judgment motion for contempt on the defendant, who was in the UK. She sought and received leave to make service by registered mail. The defendant moved to dismiss on the grounds that the motion had not been properly served. The judge properly denied the motion.

The decision makes two points that are Letters Blogatory favorites. First, service by registered mail in the UK is permitted by the Hague Service Convention, because the UK has not objected to service by mail and because service by mail was authorized by the law of the forum. Good. Second, Article 10(a) of the Convention permits service of process by mail and not just service of other judicial documents. Good—the Connecticut court correctly adopted the majority rule on this point.

It’s odd to me that some people argue that the Convention applies only to service of process and not to service of subsequent judicial documents, while some people—maybe some of the same people?—argue that Article 10(a) applies only to the service of subsequent judicial documents, not to service of process. The simple answer to all this: both the Convention as a whole and Article 10(a) apply to all judicial documents. I’m just sayin’.

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2d ed. 2016), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

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