Case of the Day: Amirault v. Ferrari

The case of the day is Amirault v. Ferrari (N.D. Ohio 2015). Darcie Amirault sued Riccardo Ferrari, a resident of Italy, for libel in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. Ferrari removed the case to the District Court and moved to dismiss for insufficient service of process. Amirault had served the summons and complaint by mail prior to removal.

The court joined the majority of American courts in rejecting the view that service by mail is impermissible because Article 10(b) uses the word “send” instead of “serve.” I particularly like the decision because it cites the Hague Conference on Private International Law’s Practical Handbook. At the recent event at Georgetown, my presentation’s thesis was that explicit guidance from the Hague Conference can help American courts reach good decisions. I cited some cases that had acted the Special Commission’s Conclusions and Recommendations, but this case shows that the same can be true of the Practical Handbook.

By the way, stay tuned for news about the new edition of the Practical Handbook. It will be here soon!

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