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Evans v. Advance Schools

OPINION FILED APRIL 3, 1979.

JAMES W. EVANS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

ADVANCE SCHOOLS, INC., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. WILLIAM A. KELLY, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DOWNING DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant appeals an order of the circuit court of Cook County denying its motion to dismiss plaintiff's petition registering plaintiff's California default judgment in the circuit court of Cook County. The sole issue on appeal is whether the trial court erred in finding that the California court had obtained personal jurisdiction over the defendant.

In March 1976, the plaintiff filed a class action in a California municipal court, alleging that the defendant had induced him and other similarly situated California residents to enroll in its private vocational school through false representations concerning the availability of federally insured student loans. Copies of the summons and complaint were mailed, return receipt requested, to the defendant's registered agent, Sherman T. Christensen, in Illinois. The relevant portions of the return are as follows:

"I served the summons and complaint as follows:

1. Defendant's name: Advance Schools, Inc.

2. Person served and title: Sherman J. Christensen *fn1

5. Mailing date, type of mail and place of mailing: 4/27/76; Certified, airmail; Berkeley, California

6. Address, city and state (when required indicate whether address is home or business): business; 5944 North Newark Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60631 *fn2

7. Manner of service: (Certified or registered mail service) By mailing to address outside California (by registered or certified airmail with return receipt requested) copies to the person served (CCP 415.40). Attach signed return receipt or other evidence of actual delivery to the person served.

8. The following notice appeared on the copy of the summons served (CCP 412.30 or 474)

You are served on behalf of: Advance Schools, Inc.

Under: CCP 416.10 (Corporation)

Other: CCP 415.40."

Upon obtaining a judgment for $1,169.09 by default, the plaintiff filed a petition to register this judgment in the circuit court of Cook County pursuant to the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 77, pars. 88 through 105.) The defendant's motion to dismiss supported by Grace Christensen's affidavit asserted inter alia that the return receipt had been signed by its agent's wife, Grace Christensen, thus, indicating that its agent had not been properly served with the summons and complaint. ...


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