Category Archives: Hague Service Convention

Case of the Day: Ackelson v. Manley Toys

The case of the day is Ackelson v. Manley Toys Ltd. (Iowa Ct. App. 2015). The plaintiffs, Tammie Ackelson, Robin Drake, and Heather Miller, sued their employers, Manley Toy Direct LLC, Toy Network LLC, alleging violations of the Iowa Civil Rights Act. They later amended the complaint to add Manley Toys Ltd., and Toy Quest, Ltd., two related entities, both Hong Kong companies without agents for service of process in the United States.

The employees sought to make service on the Hong Kong companies by way of the Hong Kong central authority under the Hague Service Convention. The bailiff’s affidavit stated that the address where he served the documents “was operating (sic) by two companies named Manley Toys Limited and Toy Quest Limited, of which a female staff member, Ms. Lo Ming informed me that the aforesaid address was the registered office of the said party for service.” Looks good! But the two Hong companies moved to quash the service on the grounds that they had no employe or agent named Lo Ming (as far as the decision reveals, they did not claim that service had been made at the wrong address). The trial judge granted the motion, citing a similar decision from the US District Court for the Southern District of Iowa in another case involving the same defendants (but not, apparently, involving the same plaintiffs). I believe that the federal decision at issue was this decision in Rennenger v. Manley Toy Direct LLC (S.D. Iowa 2013), which also featured the mysterious Lo Ming. The employees then sought to make service on the Hong Kong companies’ US counsel under Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure 1.305(14). The trial judge agreed, and the Hong Kong companies took an interlocutory appeal.
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Case of the Day: Icon DE Holdings v. Eastside Distributors

The case of the day is Icon DE Holdings LLC v. Eastside Distributors (S.D.N.Y. 2015). Icon sued Eastside and served process in Quebec. The precise manner of service was unclear. Icon claimed it proceeded via the Quebec central authority. But while I see an affidavit of service from the process server I don’t see an Article 6 certificate from the central authority. My assumption is that Icon properly sent a request for service to the central authority but that instead of sending back an Article 6 certificate the central authority sent the affidavit.

In any event, Icon served the documents in English but without a French translation. It obtained a default judgment. Eastside successfully moved to vacate the judgment on grounds of insufficient service of process. The case was again before the court on Icon’s motion for reconsideration.
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Case of the Day: DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc. v. Roland

The case of the day is DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc. v. Roland (D.V.I. 2015). DLJ had obtained a summary judgment against Lincoln and Leila Roland. The case apparently involved a foreclosure, and so the court directed the clerk to provide a copy of the judgment to the marshal for service on the Rolands, who lived in Canada.
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