Superior Court County: King. Superior Court Cause No: 13-2-22496-8 SEA. Superior Court Judge Signing: Hon. Monica Benton. Date filed in Superior Court: January 28, 2014.
Frank J. Steinmark (of McCafferty & Steinmark PLLC ), for petitioners.
Randolph O. Petgrave III (of Petgrave & Petgrave PLLC ), for respondents.
Written by: Judge Dwyer. Concurred by: Judges Verellen, Lau.
[187 Wn.App. 510] ¶ 1 We granted discretionary review to decide the question of whether jurisdiction over a Korean resident could be obtained through use of the methods of service of process allowed for in Washington's nonresident motorist act, RCW 46.64.040. We answer in the negative.
¶ 2 On June 22, 2010, Keith and Cynthia Larson were involved in a motor vehicle collision with Kyungsik Yoon. The collision occurred in King County, Washington, which was where the Larsons resided. Yoon, on the other hand, was a resident of the Republic of Korea.
¶ 3 On June 10, 2013, the Larsons filed a complaint against Yoon in King County Superior Court. Therein, they alleged claims of negligence and loss of consortium. The complaint was filed less than two weeks before the statutory limitation period was set to expire. Upon filing of the complaint, however, the limitation period was tolled for 90 days, so long as valid service of process was effected on Yoon within the 90-day period. RCW 4.16.170.
[187 Wn.App. 511] ¶ 4 On June 14, the Larsons served copies of the summons, complaint, and other documents on the Washington secretary of state.
The secretary of state then mailed copies of these documents to Yoon at an address in Korea. All of this was done in an attempt to effect service of process on Yoon pursuant to RCW 46.64.040.
¶ 5 Attorneys hired by Yoon's insurer appeared on his behalf. On November 20, Yoon moved for summary judgment. He asserted that he had not been validly served prior to the expiration of the applicable statutory limitation period. This was so, he argued, because the methods of service allowed for in RCW 46.64.040 were inconsistent with the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, Nov. 15, 1965, 20 U.S.T. 361, 658 U.N.T.S. 163 (hereinafter Hague Convention) and, ...