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Gore v. Arkansas Teachers Federal Credit Union

Supreme Court of Arkansas

March 14, 2019

RYAN CHANCE GORE A/K/A R. CHASE GORE APPELLANT
v.
ARKANSAS TEACHERS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION APPELLEE

          APPEAL FROM THE LONOKE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 43CV-16-195] HONORABLE BARBARA ELMORE, JUDGE

          Daily & Woods, P.L.L.C., by Douglas M. Carson, for appellant.

          One brief only.

          JOHN DAN KEMP, CHIEF JUSTICE.

         Appellant Ryan Gore appeals the denial of his motion to dismiss and the grant of a default judgment in favor of appellee Arkansas Teachers Federal Credit Union (ATFCU).[1]Gore contends that the circuit court lacked personal jurisdiction over him because he was not timely served with a complaint and summons. Accordingly, he contends that the default judgment against him is void and must be set aside as a matter of law. ATFCU declined to file a brief in response. We hold that the circuit court did not err in granting default judgment.

         I. Facts

         The timeline of the relevant facts is as follows.

March 14, 2016 ATFCU filed a complaint in replevin against Gore. The 120-day period for service would expire on July 12, 2016.
May 31, 2016 ATFCU filed a motion for extension of time to serve Gore, stating that it had been unable to locate Gore for proper service and requesting additional time to perfect service.
June 8, 2016 The circuit court entered an order granting the motion and extending the time to serve by "an additional 120 days."
October 3, 2016 ATFCU filed a second motion for extension of time, stating that it had been unable to locate Gore for proper service. The circuit court entered an order granting the motion and extending the time to serve by "an additional 120 days."
March 1, 2017 ATFCU filed a third motion for extension of time, stating that it had been unable to locate Gore for proper service. The circuit court entered an order with the handwritten notation "Denied. More than 120 days from second extension signed on 10.3.16."
March 3, 2017 ATFCU filed an amended and substituted complaint in replevin.
April 6, 2017 Gore filed a motion to dismiss for failure to obtain service. He contended that ATFCU did not complete service by the original deadline or any extended deadline.
April 7, 2017 ATFCU responded to the motion to dismiss and asserted that it had "obtained service on the Defendant of the Amended and Substituted Complaint in Replevin via Warning Order" on March 8, 2017. ATFCU also asserted that the time for service expired on March 9, 2017.
April 25, 2017 ATFCU filed an amended proof of service, which stated that Gore was served "the Summons, Complaint, Request for Admissions and Warning Order . . . with notice of this action on 03/08/2017 as required by Arkansas law." The attached exhibit was a statement of legal advertising from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, dated March 15, 2017, which stated that a warning order had been published therein on March 8 and March 15, 2017.

         On June 30, 2017, the circuit court held a hearing to determine whether Gore was timely served. ATFCU argued that ...


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