Court of Appeals: Div. I – Service of Process on Foreign Corporation Should be Done by Personal Service
Ralph’s Concrete Pumping (Ralph’s) is a Washington corporation. Concord Concrete Pumps (Concrete) is a British Columbia, Canada corporation.
Ralph’s sued Concrete for breach of contract. Ralph’s served Concord in Canada by mail. Concord acknowledged receipt of the summons and complaint by signing a delivery receipt. Concord did not appear or answer the summons and complaint. Ralph’s got a default judgment against Concrete for $175,000.
Concord then made a special appearance, moving to vacate the default judgment. The motion to vacate was denied and Concord appealed.
The Court of Appeals determined that since the long arm statute, RCW 4.28.150, provided for personal service, and because Ralph’s failed to file an affidavit that established that service could not be made within the State of Washington, the court did not have personal jurisdiction over Concrete. The Court of Appeals held that the default judgment was void.
The Court of Appeals declined to award attorney fees because the statute did not provide them unless service of process was accomplished by personal service.