In which I sue Dave Hexom. Or: He OWES me, doesn't he?

June 25th, 1999 - I File Suit in Conciliation Court for Hennepin County
It took a while to figure out how to sue Dave Hexom. I talked some more with Beth before she left to spend the summer in Alaska. Then I called Ramsey Country Conciliation Court. The Apache Music address listed on my copy of the contract is in Ramsey Country. But the mailman for that route told me over the phone that mail was no longer being delivered to that address and that the store was closed. The certified letter that I sent to the store was returned a Hennepin County address. David W. Hexom was listed in the phone book at the Edina address. The Ramsey Country official recommended that I file my lawsuit in Hennepin Country against the forwarding address. Her reasoning was that the summons for court has to be delivered before there can be a hearing and that obviously wouldn't happen if the store was closed.

On June 25th, 1999 I filed suit in Hennepin County Conciliation Court against Dave Hexom requesting return of my piano or $1600 from the proceeds of its sale. There was a $20 fee to file this suit.

July 7th, 1999 - Summons Returned for No Service
The Conciliation Court notified me, in a letter dated July 7th, 1999, that the summons for Dave Hexom had been "returned for no service." The letter explained that the summons had "been returned by the post office marked with the following reason: Moved and possible new address (this address is provided by the post office) PO Box 216 Elk River, MN 55330-0216."

July 13th, 1999 - I Request Re-Service
I called the Conciliation Court people a coupla times before I figured out what to do next. If a summons can be delivered by mail to the address listed in the lawsuit, that's good enough for the court. However, if the Post Office returns the summons then it is my problem to get the summons delivered. This is called "personal service" and requires that an uninvolved person deliver the summons in person and then provide a notarized statement that he or she delivered the summons. There is one interesting twist. You don't actually have to hand the summons to the person being sued. As long as you deliver it to the defendant's home, any person who looks like an adult it good enough. This is called "substitute service".

That sounded good to me!

On July 13th, 1999 I sent back a form asking for "Personal Service". There was a $5 fee for this request. And the court doesn't do the "Personal Service". That's my responsibility.

July 21st, 1999 - Sue serves summons at Edina Address
On July 21st, 1999 my friend, Sue, delivered a true and correct copy of the summons to a person of reasonable age at 6804 Dovre Dr, Edina MN 55436-1715. Substitute Service!

August 2nd, 1999 - Affidavit of Service is signed and notarized.
On August 2nd, 1999 I went to the Conciliation Court office in Minneapolis City Hall to pick up a blank Affidavit of Service form. I paid $2.50 to park. Later that same day Sue completed the Affidavit of Service in front of another friend, Tina, who then notarized the document.

August 11th, 1999 - Court Date

August 12th, 1999 - The Paper Chase

August 17th, 1999 - The Verdict

More - On to the Collection Process