Water Splash, Inc v. Menon

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: December 14, 2016
  • Case #: 16-254
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 472 S.W.3d 28 (Tex. App.–Houston [14th Dist.] 2015, pet. denied)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether service of process may be achieved by mail under the Hague Service Convention?

The Hague Service Convention ("Convention") is a treaty that was entered into in 1965 by the United States and the other members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. One key benefit of the Convention is that service of process may occur from one member state to another without the member states having to resort to consular or diplomatic means. Petitioner, a manufacturer of "aquatic playground systems," sued Respondent, a Canadian citizen, for unfair competition and tortious interference with business relations in Texas state court. Petitioner was authorized by the trial court to serve process on Respondent by certified mail, which it did. Respondent failed to answer and Petitioner received a default judgment which prompted Respondent to file a motion for a new trial on the grounds that service had not be accomplished pursuant to the Convention. The trial court denied the motion and the Texas Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, holding that "send" in Article 10 of the Convention does not include service of process. Petitioner argues that the Texas Court of Appeals was wrong to interpret the Convention as if it were a statute rather than a treaty, and that the correct, more liberal, interpretation of "send" in Article 10 of the Convention includes service of process. 

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