In re Malm v. VillegasAnnotate this Case
Defendant Marion Villegas appealed the district court's grant of plaintiff Lillian Malm's motion to reopen her personal injury lawsuit, some six years after the case had been marked inactive and closed. The court denied Villegas' motion to reconsider and her motion to dismiss the action for failure to prosecute, despite the passage of more than seven years between the filing and service of complaint. Relying on Malm's self-reported efforts to find and serve Villegas, and Villegas' failure to demonstrate prejudice from the delay, the district court found that service was had within a reasonable time. After review, the Colorado Supreme Court concluded service was delayed for an unreasonable amount of time, and that the district court abused its discretion by not dismissing the lawsuit for failure to prosecute. Accordingly, the Court reversed and remanded the case to the district court for entry of dismissal.