Thursday, June 7, 2007

Default Judgment Reversed - Defendant not properly served with citation

The Texas Supreme Court has sets aside another default judgment for insufficient service. Holds in appeal from a default judgment for more than $6 million that alternative method of service authorized by the trial court (first class and certified mail to a post office box in Mexico) did not give the defendant proper notice of the suit and opportunity to defend against it. The court of appeals had affirmed the judgment.

Hubicki v. Festina, a Liechtenstein Foundation, No. 05-0357 (Tex. Jun. 1, 2007)(per curiam)(default judgment, inadequate service of process)
Opinion of the Court of Appeals: Hubicki v. Festina, 156 S.W.3d 897 (Tex. App. - Dallas 2005).

It is not the first time the Texas Supreme Court has employed its sparingly used power of discretionary review to accept an appeal for the purpose of vacating a default judgment, and to enforce strict compliance with the statutorye requiements governing service of citation to support a default judgment.

Wachovia Bank of Del. v. Gilliam, 215 S.W.3d 848 (Tex. 2007)
Wachovia Bank v. Gilliam, No. 05-0903 (Tex. Feb. 9, 2007)(per curiam)(restricted appeal, default judgment, insufficient service of corporate citation)(no presumption of valid service in restricted appeal from default judgment)

In Re Discount Rental, Inc., No. 05-0249 (Tex. Mar. 2, 2007)(per curiam)(void judgment, defective service, lack of authority to order sale, enforcement of judgment)

Fidelity & Guar. Ins. Co. v. Drewery Constr. Co., 186 S.W.3d 571 (Tex. 2006)
Fidelity and Guaranty Ins. Co. v. Drewery Construction Co., No. 05-0295 (Tex. Feb. 24, 2006)(per curiam opinion)(default judgment, service of process)

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