Collins v. WestbrookAnnotate this Case
Perreice Collins filed a wrongful death action on behalf of her minor daughter, Shoniqwa, and on behalf of the wrongful death beneficiaries of Shoniqwa’s stillborn daughter, Shataja. Finding that Collins had not shown good cause for her failure to effect service of process upon Dr. Toikus Westbrook, the Circuit Court granted Westbrook’s motion to dismiss. Collins appealed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. Collins petitioned the Mississippi Supreme Court for review. The Supreme Court held that Collins offered uncontradicted proof of “good cause” in explanation of her failure to serve process upon Dr. Toikus Westbrook within 120 days of having filed a civil complaint as required by Rule 4(h) of the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure. Furthermore, Collins established “excusable neglect,” as contemplated by Rule 6(b) of the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure, entitling her to an extension of time in which to serve process upon Westbrook. The judgments of the Circuit Court and the Court of Appeals were reversed and the case remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.