Hukill v. Oklahoma Native American Domestic Violence Coalition
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
542 F.3d 794 (10th Cir. 2008)
Sheree L. Hukill (plaintiff) sued Oklahoma Native American Domestic Violence Coalition (Spirits), its executive director, Pauline Musgrove, and others (defendants) in Oklahoma state court after her employment was terminated. Hukill refiled in federal court after a voluntary dismissal. The defendants did not authorize their attorney to accept process, so Hukill served the defendants under Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), which allows service by any method authorized by state law. Oklahoma allows service by certified mail if delivery is restricted to the addressee. Okla. Stat. tit. 12, § 2004(C)(2)(b). Hukill mailed process to Musgrove and Spirits at the latter’s business address, but only the mailing to Musgrove was marked restricted delivery. Nevertheless, both mailings were delivered to L. Vollintine, who was not authorized to accept service. The defendants failed to respond, and the court entered a default judgment. The defendants moved to have the judgment set aside pursuant to FRCP Rules 55(c) and 60(b) on the ground that the it was void due to defective service, but did not deny having notice of the suit. The court held that state law only required substantial compliance with the statutory requirements for service and Hukill substantially complied because Musgrove’s mailing was marked restricted delivery, the defendants did not deny receiving process, and the defendants were aware of the suit. The court upheld the judgment, and the defendants appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Porfilio, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 175,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.