Willhite v. Rodriguez-CeraAnnotate this Case
In an original proceeding, the Supreme Court reviewed a trial court's order that quashed service on Defendant Paulo Rodriguez-Cera. Defendant resided in Mexico but was served by substituted service in Colorado. After previously granting substituted service, the trial court determined that C.R.C.P. 4(d) mandated that service on a defendant located in a foreign country be made according to international agreement, if any. Because Mexico and the United States are parties to the Convention on Service Arboad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters (20 U.S.T. 361), the trial court concluded that Plaintiff Rex Willhite must serve Defendant via the Convention. As a result, the trial court quashed the substituted service. Upon review, the Supreme Court held that C.R.C.P. 4(d) did not establish service according to international agreement as the exclusive means of serving a defendant in a foreign country. The Court held that substituted service under Colorado law provides a valid alternative to service abroad. The Court made the rule absolute and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings.