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Rio Properties, Inc. v. Rio International Interlink

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
284 F.3d 1007 (9th Cir. 2002)



Rio Properties, Inc. (RIO) (plaintiff) is a Nevada hotel and gambling company. Rio International Interlink (RII) (defendant) is a Costa Rican Internet gambling business. RIO sued RII for trademark infringement. RIO served process on RII’s international courier, IEC. IEC was not RII’s registered agent but forwarded process to Costa Rica. RII consulted California attorney John Carpenter. Carpenter contacted RIO but refused to accept service. RIO could not find another address for RII. RIO moved the court to allow alternate service under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 4(h)(2) and 4(f)(3), which was granted. RIO mailed process to Carpenter and IEC and emailed RII. RII’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and insufficient process was denied. RII filed an answer, but failed to meaningfully participate in discovery, even after an order and a warning from the judge. The court granted RIO’s motion for sanctions, awarding monetary expenses and entering default against RII. RII appealed the sufficiency of the process, the court’s personal jurisdiction, and the sanctions to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Trott, J.)

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