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Cox v. Quigley

Citation. 141 F.R.D. 222 (D. Me 1992)
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Brief Fact Summary.

Quigley moved to vacate a default judgment against him when Cox tried to serve process at his parents house in Ithaca, New York, although Quigley’s address, income taxes, and voting was conducted in Florida.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A transient defendant may not be served by leaving the summons and complaint at the residence of his parents.


Quigley’s parents lived in Ithaca, New York without a bedroom for Quigley. Quigley would only spend summers there and sleep on a cot in the basement. When Quigley joined the Military Sealift Command, he changed his address to his grandparents house in Florida, where he voted and paid income taxes. Cox’s lawyer tried to serve process at Quigley’s parents house and they would not accept service on Quigley’s behalf.  Default judgment was entered against Quigley. Quigley moved to vacate the default judgment.


Whether a transient defendant may be served by leaving the summons and complaint at the residence of his parents?


No. The default judgment is vacated. Quigley changed his address to Florida and spent much of his time at sea. Quigley was also difficult to contact and his familial relationships were inconsistent, therefore process was ineffective.


FRCP 4(e)(2) does not outline the service of process for transient or homeless individuals without a usual place of abode. The only option available to a transient or homeless individual without a usual place of abode is personal service.

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