Civil Procedure Keyed to Spencer
Rio Properties, Inc. v. Rio International Interlink
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Rio Properties, Inc. (Plaintiff) is a Nevada hotel and gambling company. Rio International Interlink (Defendant) is a Costa Rican Internet gambling business. Plaintiff sued Defendant for trademark infringement. Plaintiff served process on Defendant’s international courier, IEC. IEC was not Defendant’s registered agent but forwarded process to Costa Rica. Defendant consulted California attorney John Carpenter. Carpenter contacted Plaintiff but refused to accept service. Plaintiff could not find another address for Defendant. Plaintiff moved the court to allow alternate service under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 4(h)(2) and 4(f)(3), which was granted. Plaintiff mailed process to Carpenter and IEC and emailed Defendant. Defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and insufficient process was denied. Defendant filed an answer, but failed to meaningfully participate in discovery, even after an order and a warning from the judge. The court granted Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions, awarding monetary expenses and entering default against Defendant. Defendant appealed the sufficiency of the process, the court’s personal jurisdiction, and the sanctions to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
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