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Law School Case Brief

Sally Beauty Co. v. Nexxus Prods. Co. - 578 F. Supp. 178 (N.D. Ill. 1984)


A rule on service of process is designed to eliminate the cost and trouble of obtaining service in those circumstances where responsible defendants represented by responsible counsel can be counted upon to acknowledge receipt of service and get on with the litigation. There is no authority under the rule authorizing the imposition of a condition upon the acknowledgment of service such as the insistence upon a stipulated extension of time.


In an action between a beauty company against a manufacturer, the beauty company filed a motion pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(2)(D) for an order assessing the manufacturer for the expenses the beauty company incurred in obtaining service of the summons and complaint against the manufacturer. The summons and complaint were served upon the manufacturer by first class certified mail, return receipt requested, with an appropriate request for acknowledgment of service in accordance with the rules, but that counsel for the manufacturer refused to acknowledge receipt of service unless he was granted an extension of time in which to appear. 


Should the court grant the motion to reimburse summons expenses?




The court granted the beauty company's motion and ordered to manufacturer to reimburse plaintiff in the amount of $307.32 within 30 days. The court found that the purpose of the rule on acknowledgement of service was to eliminate the cost and trouble of formal service in cases where responsible defendants and counsel were involved, and that the was no authority under the rule for withholding acknowledgment in exchange for an extension of time to respond.

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