Honegger v. Coastal Fertilizer & Supply, Inc.

712 So. 2d 1161 (1998)

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Honegger v. Coastal Fertilizer & Supply, Inc.

Florida District Court of Appeal
712 So. 2d 1161 (1998)

Facts

Manna Gro Farms (MGF) had an open account with Coastal Fertilizer & Supply, Inc. (Coastal) (plaintiff), a Florida corporation, under which MGF purchased fertilizer. Everett Honegger, an Alaska resident, executed a guaranty agreement under which he guaranteed payment of any outstanding amounts owed by MGF to Coastal. MGF failed to pay Coastal. Coastal then sued Honegger in Florida under the guaranty agreement, seeking a personal money judgment. Coastal engaged a process server in Alaska to personally serve Honegger; however, the process server failed to locate Honegger. Coastal then filed a sworn statement for constructive service, also known as service-of-process-by-publication, and published a notice of the pending Florida lawsuit in the Naples Daily News, a local Florida newspaper. Honegger entered a special limited appearance in the Florida action to quash the service-of-process, arguing that (1) service-of-process-by-publication was insufficient because it only conferred in-rem or quasi-in-rem jurisdiction, not personal jurisdiction; and (2) personal jurisdiction was required for claims seeking a personal money judgement. The trial court denied Honegger’s motion, holding that service-of-process-by-publication was sufficient because Honegger had evaded personal service. Honegger appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Threadgill, C.J.)

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