Strategy Sessions Conducted During Consultations Resulted in Dismissal of Case

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A pro se defendant, who was sued for damages in Florida by a national banking association, consulted with attorney Jeremy Dicker of The Law Offices of Robin Bresky. The bank filed a lawsuit against the defendant for an alleged outstanding balance on a credit card account. The plaintiff attempted to serve the defendant with process by serving one of his parents at the parent’s home in Florida.

Under section 48.031(1)(a), Florida Statutes (2016), “Service of original process is made by delivering a copy of it to the person to be served with a copy of the complaint, petition, or other initial pleading or paper or by leaving the copies at his or her usual place of abode with any person residing therein who is 15 years of age or older and informing the person of their contents.” The defendant, however, is not a Florida resident. The defendant resides in another state. As such, the plaintiff failed to comply with section 48.03(1)(a) because the residence of the defendant’s parent is not the defendant’s usual place of abode.

The defendant contacted The Law Offices of Robin Bresky for a consultation. At the consultation, Mr. Dicker saw the need for filing a motion to dismiss the action or to quash service of process because the defendant was not served at his usual place of abode. The defendant then filed the motion challenging the service of process. The trial court set a hearing on the motion. The defendant then reached out to Mr. Dicker again for another consultation and strategy session, and Mr. Dicker helped the defendant with information regarding preparation for the hearing.

Following the trial court’s hearing on the defendant’s motion, the trial court quashed service of process. In granting the defendant’s motion, the trial court found that the defendant was (and still is) living in another state, not at the parent’s residence; and he is a licensed professional in that other state. Thus, the parent’s home was not his usual place of abode.

The next day, the national banking association filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of the action. The defendant appreciated Mr. Dicker’s assistance and guidance in achieving the dismissal. Mr. Dicker is grateful he was able to help resolve the defendant’s case through a dismissal, thus avoiding the need for further proceedings.