Bible v. Bible, No. 46827

CourtSupreme Court of Georgia
Writing for the CourtHUNT; All the Justices concur, except WELTNER
Citation383 S.E.2d 108,259 Ga. 418
PartiesBIBLE v. BIBLE.
Decision Date06 September 1989
Docket NumberNo. 46827

Page 108

383 S.E.2d 108
259 Ga. 418
BIBLE

v.
BIBLE.
No. 46827.
Supreme Court of Georgia.
Sept. 6, 1989.
Reconsideration Denied Sept. 27, 1989.

Page 109

[259 Ga. 419] J. Richard Dunstan, Broyles, Dunstan & Dunstan, P.C., Augusta, for Ann W. Bible.

[259 Ga. 420] Carl J. Surrett and Kenneth R. Chance, Augusta, for James C. Bible.

[259 Ga. 418] HUNT, Justice.

We granted this application to consider the question whether alternative service made at a defendant's residence upon a person not "residing therein" constitutes sufficient service under Georgia law.

The trial court, construing OCGA § 9-11-4(d)(7) found substantial compliance with that section where service on the wife in this divorce action was made by leaving a copy of the complaint and summons at her home in South Carolina with the wife's employee, who did not live there. 1 OCGA § 9-11-4(d)(7) provides:

Service shall be made by delivering a copy of the summons and a copy of the complaint to the defendant personally or by leaving copies at his dwelling or usual place of abode with someone of suitable age and discretion residing therein.... (emphasis supplied).

[259 Ga. 419] The trial court held that although service was not made as required by the statute on one "residing therein," service was nevertheless proper under the "substantial compliance" rule established in Brim v. Pruitt, 178 Ga.App. 321, 342 S.E.2d 690 (1986), because the wife had actual notice of the suit. In Brim, the Court of Appeals, construing the validity of service under OCGA § 9-11-4(d)(7) on a person at the defendant's home but who did not live there, held:

... [T]here is undisputed evidence that [the defendant] received actual and prompt possession of the papers with knowledge of their significance. In such circumstances the law should be construed to have been fulfilled. Substantial compliance is all that is necessary.

Id. at 325, 342 S.E.2d 690. See also Sanders v. Johnson, 181 Ga.App. 39, 351 S.E.2d 216 (1986).

We hold OCGA § 9-11-4(d)(7) means exactly what it states, and that service under this section must be made as provided.

Page 110

See DeJarnette Supply Co. v. F.P. Plaza, 229 Ga. 625, 626(4), 193 S.E.2d 852 (1972). As Judge Benham noted in his dissenting opinion to Sanders v. Johnson, supra, the language of the statute is so plain and unambiguous that judicial construction is both unnecessary and unauthorized. Board of Trustees v. Christy, 246 Ga. 553, 554(1), 272 S.E.2d 288 (1980). Sanders v....

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45 practice notes
  • Shuler v. Akpan, A21A1475
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • March 1, 2022
    ...on Georgia residents by publication and by mail if state and federal concepts of due process are not violated.").10 Bible v. Bible , 259 Ga. 418, 419, 383 S.E.2d 108 (1989) ; see Ballenger v. Floyd , 282 Ga. App. 574, 575, 639 S.E.2d 554 (2006) (explaining that our Supreme Court rejected th......
  • Marshall v. Warwick, No. 97-4022
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • December 4, 1998
    ...B. Broward Drainage Dist. v. Certain Lands Upon Which Taxes Were Due, 160 Fla. 120, 123, 33 So.2d 716, 718 (1948)); Bible v. Bible, 259 Ga. 418, 419, 383 S.E.2d 108, 110 (1989) (rejecting the substantial compliance standard for all service of process); Martin v. Triol, 121 Wash.2d 135, 144,......
  • FOCUS HEALTHCARE MEDICAL CENTER v. O'NEAL, No. A01A1851.
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • January 15, 2002
    ...receive actual notice of the action after service upon a person who resides at the defendant's place of abode. See Bible v. Bible, 259 Ga. 418, 419, 383 S.E.2d 108 (1989). It is for the trial judge to decide weight and credibility where there exists a dispute as to evidence of defendant's u......
  • Shuler v. Akpan, A21A1475
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • March 1, 2022
    ...on Georgia residents by publication and by mail if state and federal concepts of due process are not violated."). [10] Bible v. Bible, 259 Ga. 418, 419 (383 S.E.2d 108) (1989); see Ballenger v. Floyd, 282 Ga.App. 574, 575 (639 S.E.2d 554) (2006) (explaining that our Supreme Court rejected t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
45 cases
  • Shuler v. Akpan, A21A1475
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • March 1, 2022
    ...on Georgia residents by publication and by mail if state and federal concepts of due process are not violated.").10 Bible v. Bible , 259 Ga. 418, 419, 383 S.E.2d 108 (1989) ; see Ballenger v. Floyd , 282 Ga. App. 574, 575, 639 S.E.2d 554 (2006) (explaining that our Supreme Court rejected th......
  • Marshall v. Warwick, No. 97-4022
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • December 4, 1998
    ...B. Broward Drainage Dist. v. Certain Lands Upon Which Taxes Were Due, 160 Fla. 120, 123, 33 So.2d 716, 718 (1948)); Bible v. Bible, 259 Ga. 418, 419, 383 S.E.2d 108, 110 (1989) (rejecting the substantial compliance standard for all service of process); Martin v. Triol, 121 Wash.2d 135, 144,......
  • FOCUS HEALTHCARE MEDICAL CENTER v. O'NEAL, No. A01A1851.
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • January 15, 2002
    ...receive actual notice of the action after service upon a person who resides at the defendant's place of abode. See Bible v. Bible, 259 Ga. 418, 419, 383 S.E.2d 108 (1989). It is for the trial judge to decide weight and credibility where there exists a dispute as to evidence of defendant's u......
  • Shuler v. Akpan, A21A1475
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • March 1, 2022
    ...on Georgia residents by publication and by mail if state and federal concepts of due process are not violated."). [10] Bible v. Bible, 259 Ga. 418, 419 (383 S.E.2d 108) (1989); see Ballenger v. Floyd, 282 Ga.App. 574, 575 (639 S.E.2d 554) (2006) (explaining that our Supreme Court rejected t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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