Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hadley v. Fedex Ground Package System Inc.

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

April 30, 2019

WILLIAM KEVIN HADLEY APPELLANT
v.
FEDEX GROUND PACKAGE SYSTEM INC. AND STEVEN OTTO APPELLEES

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/15/2018

          DESOTO COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JAMES McCLURE III

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: JOE MORGAN WILSON JERRY WESLEY HISAW

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES: ROBERT A. BIGGS III CHARLES STEPHEN STACK JR.

         EN BANC.

          TINDELL, J.

         ¶1. On June 20, 2017, Steve Otto ("Otto") and FedEx Ground Package System Inc. ("FedEx") filed a Motion to Dismiss against William Kevin Hadley ("Hadley") in the DeSoto County Circuit Court, arguing that Hadley had failed to properly serve Otto and FedEx before the statute of limitations expired. The circuit court granted the motion and dismissed Hadley's claims for insufficient service of process. In his response to the defendants' motions, Hadley moved to amend his complaint to add J. Delivery Services, Otto's actual employer, as a defendant. The circuit court denied this motion as moot. Hadley now appeals this judgment, arguing that the circuit court erred by not granting Hadley a 120-day extension of time to perfect service of process and by not granting Hadley leave to amend his complaint. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. This case stems from a car accident that occurred on January 31, 2014, when Otto rear-ended Hadley while driving a truck owned by FedEx. On January 31, 2017, Hadley filed a complaint against FedEx and Otto in the circuit court exactly one day before the statute of limitations expired.

         ¶3. Hadley attempted to serve FedEx on its Mississippi registered agent, CT Corporation System, via certified mail. After much difficulty locating Otto, Hadley's attorney filed a motion for additional time to serve process one week before the deadline to serve Otto would expire. The motion was never set for a hearing, and no order was entered granting the motion. Hadley nonetheless attempted to serve Otto by publishing notice in the DeSoto Times Tribune for three consecutive weeks beginning on June 20, 2017.

         ¶4. On July 20, 2017, FedEx and Otto filed motions to dismiss Hadley's complaint, arguing that Hadley had failed to properly serve them with process within the 120-day deadline prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations. Hadley responded, again requesting an extension of time to serve the parties along with a motion for leave to amend the complaint to add J. Delivery Services, Otto's actual employer at the time of the accident, as a party to the action.

         ¶5. The circuit court granted the defendants' motions to dismiss, finding that Hadley failed to properly serve FedEx and Otto within the 120-day deadlines and failed to show good cause for invalid service. The circuit court also denied Hadley's motion for leave to amend his complaint. Aggrieved, Hadley now appeals.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶6. This Court reviews the grant or denial of a motion to dismiss de novo. Blakeney v.Warren County, 973 So.2d 1037, 1039 (¶11) (Miss. Ct. App. 2008). A finding of good cause or excusable neglect is usually left to the discretion of the circuit court, unless such discretion is abused and requires reversal. Long v. Mem'l Hosp. at Gulfport, 969 So.2d 35, 38 (¶5) (Miss. 2007). Where a circuit court applies interpretations of law in its analysis, the court reviews its determination de novo. Id. But, where the court applies fact-based findings in its determination of good cause or excusable neglect, the Court defers to the discretionary ruling of the circuit court and "whether there was substantial evidence supporting the determination." Rains v. Gardner, 731 So.2d 1192, 1197 (ΒΆ18) (Miss. 1999). "Motions for leave to amend complaint are left to the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.