Monday, February 11, 2013

Maryland State Firemen's Association v. Chaves case brief

Maryland State Firemen's Ass'n v. Chaves case brief summary
166 F.R.D. 353

SYNOPSIS: The motion for default judgment filed by plaintiff, state fireman's association, was granted against defendant, president of a federal firefighter's association, by the clerk of courts and the court requested that the state fireman's association file an affidavit and supporting memoranda describing in detail the type of service employed. The state fireman's association submitted the requested information.

-A state fireman's association filed an action against the president of a federal firefighter's association which sought to recover charitable contributions it alleged were illegally solicited by the president. -The president failed to file an answer and the state fireman's association filed a motion for default judgment and the court clerk entered default against the president for failure to plead.
-Thereafter, the court requested a more detailed affidavit describing the type of service employed by the state fireman's association.
-The state fireman's association submitted a response and the court set aside the clerk's entry of default and denied the motion for default judgment.

-The court held that Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(d) applied to the case because it was pending on December 1, 1993 and that the requirements of Rule 4(d) would be strictly enforced.
-Further, under Md. R. Civ. P. 2-121, service was required by certified mail.

The state fireman's association served the summons and complaint by first class mail which did not meet the requirements of Rule 2-121. Thus, service of process was invalid.

Under the federal rules, a plaintiff may serve process pursuant to the law of the state in which the district court is located, or in which service is effected.

OUTCOME: The court set aside the clerk's entry of default judgment and denied the motion for default judgment filed by the president of the state fireman's association.

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