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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Plaintiff's Case Not Subject to Dismissal Due to Lost Return of Proof of Service of Process

The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently released its opinion in Hart v. Memphis Light Gas & Water Division, No. W2018-00254-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 13, 2018).  The syllabus from the slip opinion reads as follows:
The parties dispute whether, under Tennessee Code Annotated section 16-15-710, the applicable statute of limitations was tolled by service of process when no proof of service was returned to the court as required under Tennessee Code Annotated section 16-15- 902(a). Under the holding in Fair v. Cochran, 418 S.W.3d 542 (Tenn. 2013), we conclude, as did the trial court, that Appellee’s failure to make return to the court did not, ipso facto, constitute a lack of service of process such that the statute of limitations expired.  Affirmed and remanded.
Here is a link to the slip opinion: 

NOTE: In my opinion, I think this case hinges upon the fact that the appellant-defendant's attorney admitted in court that her client had been served with leading process.  HartNo. W2018-00254-COA-R3-CV, slip op. at 2.  And, I think it mattered that Plaintiff's prior counsel's credible testimony evinced that he had made a proper return of proof of service to the clerk's office.  Id.

This opinion also cites one of my cases, Fair v. Cochran, 418 S.W.3d 542 (Tenn. 2013), just like the one in my prior blog post.  Always nice to be part of a solid opinion that is relied upon for years to come.  

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