A person can have two or more "dwelling houses or usual places of abode," provided each contains sufficient indicia of permanence.
Appellee United States corporation sought to compel appellant foreign citizen to arbitrate a conversion action filed by them for funds appellant allegedly improperly converted when a joint venture was dissolved. Appellant was served with the summons and complaint at his New York apartment. Appellant claimed he was a resident of Saudi Arabia, where he maintained a large compound. Appellant testified that he was present in Saudi Arabia for only three months of the year in which he was served, and that his New York apartment was only one of twelve locations around the world where he spent his time.
Was the New York apartment of Appellee considered his dwelling house or usual place of abode upon which service was properly made?
The court noted that for purposes of personal jurisdiction, a person could have two or more dwelling houses or usual places of abode, provided each contained sufficient indicia of permanence. The court affirmed the district court's order, which denied appellant's motion to vacate a default judgment, concluding that service of process on appellant was proper under Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(d)(1) because the New York apartment where appellant was actually living at the time service was effected was a dwelling house or usual place of abode for purposes of jurisdiction.