Case of the Day: Portalp International v. Zuloaga

The case of the day is Portalp International SAS v. Zuloaga (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2015). Daniel Zuloaga was the president of Portalp USA. LLC. When the company terminated his employment, he sued Portalp USA and its parent, Portalp International, SAS, a French firm, for breach of contract. He served process on Portalp, in France, by Fedex. Portalp moved to dismiss, arguing that the Hague Service Convention did not permit service by mail. In other words, Portalp was asking the court to adopt the minority American view that because Article 10(a) of the Convention used the word “send” instead of “served,” it did not permit service of process by mail.

This was a question of first impression in the Florida state courts, and happily, the judge correctly concluded, in light of the shared intention of the parties, that Article 10(a) does indeed allow service by mail.

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