In March, I discussed the rapidly developing litigation in Tennessee debtor-creditor law about the failure of many process servers to comply with Tenn. Code Ann. § 16-15-901(b). In order to have valid service of process, this statute says: “The process server must be identified by name and address on the return.”
Note: Here’s my post from 2015, when I warned you all that these issues were going to be a problem.
In an opinion issued yesterday, the Tennessee Court of Appeals upheld this analysis, in one of the few times the appellate courts have considered this issue.
The case is Cornerstone Financial Credit Union v. Joshua Mundy, M2018-01624-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. App. Oct. 23, 2019).
It’s a well done opinion, with a good review of personal jurisdiction, ineffective service of process, void judgments, and the method for raising these issues under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60.02(3).
I’m biased, because–as you may note–I represented the appellee/debtor in the Mundy case. But, nevertheless, Judge Dinkins’ opinion is a good reminder that every lawsuit must start with proper service–or everything else after that may fall apart.