United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Civil Procedure — personal service
Where the defendant presented evidence he was not present at an event where he was purportedly served with process, the case was properly dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction.
“The plaintiffs insinuate that the defendant’s State Department security team was complicit in the alleged service fraud, though they do not assign a motive (such as protecting our good relations with India by squelching a lawsuit against a high Indian official). They point out that the agent heading the team accosted process server Kratochvil at his home and badgered him to sign an affidavit stating that if the defendant had never been at the high school on August 9, then he had not served the defendant. On its face this is equivalent to saying 2 + 2 = 4, or saying if this is B, it is not A; it is the statement of a logical relation, rather than an observation. But maybe the agent’s purpose was to negate any inference that Kratochvil might have served the defendant at some other time during the latter’s visit to Milwaukee. Still, the agent’s demanding an affidavit from Kratochvil was distinctly odd, as opposed to the defendant’s lawyer deposing him. The government—the agent’s employer—wasn’t even a party to the lawsuit. Maybe the agent felt that it would be a black mark against him if the foreign official whom he was escorting had been served with a complaint. No matter; the irregularity of the agent’s conduct has no bearing on whom Kratochvil served.”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Adelman, J., Posner, J.