Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Good Faith Effort To Complete Faulty Service of Original Process Found By Court

In the case of Mandarano v. Plink, No. 18-CV-2099 (C.P. Lacka. Co. Jan. 8, 2019 Nealon, J.), the court addressed Lamp v. Heyman, service of process issues in a premises liability action. 

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff commenced this premises liability action one day prior to the expiration of the two (2) year statute of limitations and served the President of the Defendant limited liability company with original process at its principal place of business on a timely basis under the Rules of Civil Procedure.  However, service was improperly completed by a private detective agency rather than the Sheriff as required by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure 401, et seq.

After the Defendant company filed a Preliminary Objection asserting improper service of process and seeking a dismissal based upon the expiration of the statute of limitations, the Plaintiff reinstated the Complaint and had it timely served by the Sheriff upon that company’s President at the same principal place of business.   

The Defendant company asserted in its Preliminary Objections that this action was barred by the statute of limitations due to the Plaintiff’s alleged failure to make a good faith effort to effectuate proper service of original process.  

Judge Terrence R. Nealon
Lackawanna County
After reviewing the law of Lamp v. Heyman and its progeny, Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas found that the record was devoid of any indication that the Plaintiff intentionally acted in a manner that was designed to stall the judicial machinery by delaying the proper service of process. The court also found that the Defendant company had not identified any prejudice that it allegedly suffered as a result of the Plaintiff’s defective service of original process previously by a detective instead of a Sheriff.

The court also noted that, since the Defendant company’s officer was furnished with timely notice of the filing of this suit, the purpose of the statute of limitations had been satisfied in this case.  

As such, the Preliminary Objections filed by the Defendant company seeking the dismissal based upon improper service of original process were overruled.  

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision by Judge Nealon may click this LINK.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.