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Garb Oil & Power Corp. v. Titan International Securities, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division

September 14, 2018

GARB OIL & POWER CORPORATION, a Utah corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
TITAN INTERNATIONAL SECURITIES, INC., a corporation in the country of Belize, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          PAUL M. WARNER, CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the court is Plaintiff Garb Oil & Power Corporation's (“Garb”) motion for alternative service.[1]

         RELEVANT BACKGROUND

         According to the complaint in this case, Defendant Titan International Securities, Inc. (“Titan”) is a corporation organized under the laws of Belize and has its principal place of business in Belize.[2] Garb asserts that it “initially attempted personal service” of the summons and complaint upon Titan, but that attempt “was unsuccessful.”[3] Garb also makes the conclusory assertion, without citation to any authority, that it “cannot serve Titan through postal services because of Belize's objections under the Hague Convention.”[4]

         In its motion, Garb seeks a court order permitting it to effect service of process upon Titan under Rule 4(f)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by sending a copy of the summons and complaint by e-mail to an attorney. Garb contends that said attorney is currently representing Titan in another, unrelated case pending in the Caribbean Court of Justice.

         LEGAL STANDARDS

         Rule 4(h) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs service of process on a foreign corporation. Under Rule 4(h)(2), if a corporation is located “at a place not within any judicial district of the United States, ” then service of process may be accomplished “in any manner prescribed by Rule 4(f) for serving an individual.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(h)(2). Rule 4(f) governs service of process on an individual in a foreign country. Service of process under Rule 4(f) is allowed in the following three ways:

(1) by any internationally agreed means of service that is reasonably calculated to give notice, such as those authorized by the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents;
(2) if there is no internationally agreed means, or if an international agreement allows but does not specify other means, by a method that is reasonably calculated to give notice:
(A) as prescribed by the foreign country's law for service in that country in an action in its courts of general jurisdiction;
(B) as the foreign authority directs in response to a letter rogatory or letter of request; or
(C) unless prohibited by the foreign country's law, by:
(i) delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally; or
(ii) using any form of mail that the clerk addresses and sends to the individual and that requires a ...

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