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James v. McMullen

February 09, 1999

ERIC D. JAMES APPELLANT
v.
KEVIN MCMULLEN APPELLEE



Before Bridges, C.j., Diaz, Payne, And Southwick, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Diaz, J.

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 01/23/1998

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. RICHARD WAYNE MCKENZIE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: FORREST COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - OTHER

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: MOTION FOR STAY OF ENFORCEMENT OVERRULED

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 02/09/99

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

CERTIORARI FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

¶1. Eric James appeals the decision of the Forrest County Circuit Court to deny his motion for a stay of enforcement of a judgment entered against him on June 1, 1994. James asserts on appeal that there was no valid judgment entered because there was an absence of service of process. We find that James waived service of process by signing the judgment under the caption, "Read, Agreed, and Approved." Therefore, we affirm the decision of the circuit court.

FACTS

¶2. On May 27, 1994, a complaint was filed in the Forrest County Circuit Court by Kevin McMullen against Eric James and other defendants. No service of process was issued at this point. A copy of that complaint was furnished to James's attorney. After a meeting with James's attorney, an agreed judgment was entered by the circuit court on June 1, 1994. The judgment outlined that the court had personal and subject matter jurisdiction. Furthermore, the judgment was signed by James under the caption, "Read, Agreed, and Approved." Additionally, James's attorney, James D. Harrell, IV, also signed the agreed judgment.

DISCUSSION

¶3. "The concept of personal jurisdiction comprises two distinct components: amenability to jurisdiction and service of process. Amenability to jurisdiction means that a defendant is within the substantive reach of a forum's jurisdiction under applicable law. Service of process is simply the physical means by which that jurisdiction is asserted." DeMelo v. Toche Marine, Inc., 711 F.2d 1260, 1264 (5th Cir. 1983) (internal citations omitted).

Mississippi law is clear that process must be issued in an action in order for jurisdiction ...


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