Sutherland v. Spencer (Majority)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff brought a Deceptive Trade Practices Act suit against Company and its co-operators for violating the terms of a contract. Through a process server, Plaintiff served all three Defendants with citations, but one citation contained an error in a co-operator's name. Defendants failed to file a timely answer, and Plaintiff obtained a default judgment. Defendants filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that service on the co-operator was improper and that Defendants established the necessary Craddock elements to set aside the default judgment. The trial court denied the motion, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Defendants asserted facts that, if true, established the first Craddock element, i.e., that the failure to appear was not intentional or the result of conscious indifference but was the result of a mistake or an accident. Remanded for consideration of the second and third elements of the Craddock test.