We are delighted to inform you that we have effectively appealed a trial court’s order, which initially rejected our client’s motion to dismiss the service of process. This occurred in a case where the Plaintiff (the creditor) sought to garnish our client’s bank accounts.
The Case Background
The case involved a final judgment on a writ of garnishment against our client, Peaceful Paws Memorial (PPM), based on an underlying money judgment against one of the partners.
In his affidavit, the server declared that he had effectuated service on PPM’s registered agent by delivering it to an employee named Paul Buttler. Coincidentally, Paul Buttler is also one of the owners of PPM.
Legal Argument: Correct Interpretation of FS 48.062(1)
At the trial level, we argued that pursuant to FS 48.062(1), the Plaintiff (creditor) had to first serve PPM’s registered agent. We obtained the registered agent’s affidavit saying that it was not only no longer at that address, but that it has also never had an employee named Paul Buttler.
The Plaintiff (creditor) contended that the service remained valid, as it was carried out on a PPM agent, Paul Buttler. Essentially, their argument rested on the idea that it was merely coincidental that Paul Buttler, situated in Opa-Locka, happened to be present at the exact moment when the server visited the office of the registered agent (or former office). Astonishingly, the trial court concurred with this perspective.
Appellate Reversal: Highlighting Facts & Legal Standards
The Third reversed describing the facts as they are, “At best, the record reflects that Mr. Butler, as CFO of Peaceful Paws, is an employee of Peaceful Paws itself, not an employee of Peaceful Paws’ registered agent, Mr. Sack. If a registered agent cannot with reasonable diligence be served, process can be served on a member of a member-managed limited liability company, such as Mr. Butler. However, In the instant case, there is no record evidence that the process server could not ‘with reasonable diligence’ serve the registered agent, Mr. Sack.”
As stated by attorney Eduardo A. Maura, “We are happy with the result. This garnishment judgment had frozen our client’s payroll account, and made their life Hell.”
You can read the order here: Order
Schedule a Case Evaluation
For more information regarding appeals or garnishment proceedings, contact one of our experienced litigators at 305-570-2208. You can also email our lead attorney Eduardo directly at email@example.com.
We at Ayala Law PA are passionate about helping those in legal need, so please don’t hesitate to schedule a case evaluation with us online here.