Willhite v. Rodriguez-Cera, 2012CO29 (April 23, 2012)

Suing a foreigner in Colorado can mean serving the complaint on a defendant in another country. The UN Convention on Service Abroad, through CRCP 4(d), offers one method for international service. But it is not the only one. In this original proceeding under Rule 21, the Supreme Court offers a rare interpretation of the relationship between international service under CRCP 4(d), and substitute service under CRCP 4(f). The trial court permitted substitute service on the defendant, who lived in Mexico, via his sister, who lived in Colorado, under CRCP 4(f). The defendant claimed that he must be served personally in Mexico under CRCP 4(d) and the Convention. The Court held those methods apply only when documents are “transmitted abroad.” None were because the defendant was served locally via his sister. Accordingly, service under CRCP 4(f) was sufficient and Constitutional.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Opinions/2011/11SA250.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8485&courtid=2

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1 Comment

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One response to “Willhite v. Rodriguez-Cera, 2012CO29 (April 23, 2012)

  1. This case is of some personal interest to me, as I litigated an issue involving CRCP4(d) and CRCP4(f). The more interesting issue was one of personal jurisdiction, however, which, in my case, was based only on the defendant’s alleged involvement with a conspirator who lived in Colorado. My client lived abroad, and was served via mail. Colorado has not yet adopted the conspiracy theory of personal jurisdiction. My CAR 4.2 appeal on those issues was denied, most likely because of a very complicated procedural posture and the lack of finality with respect to other defendants.

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