Pryor v. MID-WEST INVESTIGATIONS & PROCESS SERVING, No. 92,535.

CourtUnited States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma
Writing for the CourtCARL B. JONES, Presiding
Citation2000 OK CIV APP 22,999 P.2d 452
PartiesJack I. PRYOR, Plaintiff/Appellant, v. MID-WEST INVESTIGATIONS & PROCESS SERVING, INC., Defendant/Appellee.
Decision Date04 February 2000
Docket NumberNo. 92,535.

999 P.2d 452
2000 OK CIV APP 22

Jack I. PRYOR, Plaintiff/Appellant,
v.
MID-WEST INVESTIGATIONS & PROCESS SERVING, INC., Defendant/Appellee

No. 92,535.

Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma, Division No. 1.

February 4, 2000.


Jack I. Pryor, Norman, Oklahoma, Appellant, Pro se.

Derrick T. DeWitt, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, For Appellee.

Released for Publication by Order of the Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma, Division No. 1.

999 P.2d 453
OPINION

CARL B. JONES, Presiding Judge:

¶ 1 Plaintiff/Appellant took a default judgment in small claims court against Defendant/Appellee. Defendant filed a timely Motion to Vacate Judgment which was granted. Plaintiff appeals that order vacating the previously granted judgment.1 Plaintiff appears pro se.

¶ 2 This Court's review of an order vacating a default judgment is limited by the following principles:

"It is the policy of the law to afford every party to an action a fair opportunity to present his side of a cause..... [A]n order vacating judgment will not be disturbed on appeal unless it clearly appears that the trial court has abused its discretion. Such discretion should always be exercised to promote the ends of justice, and a much stronger showing of abuse of discretion must be made where a judgment has been set aside than where it has been refused."

Midkiff v. Luckey, 1966 OK 49, 412 P.2d 175, 177 and cases cited therein.

¶ 3 In addition to vacating the default judgment, at the same hearing the trial court denied a motion of the Plaintiff which essentially was an objection to Mr. McKee (Defendant's president and owner and a non-lawyer) appearing on behalf of the corporate defendant. The trial court pointed out to Plaintiff that an Oklahoma Bar Association

999 P.2d 454
Rule found at 5 O.S.1999 Supp., Ch. 1, App. 1, § 6, permits a corporate officer to appear on behalf of the corporation in small claims courts.2 Plaintiff's motion/objection was properly overruled

¶ 4 Appellant raises several issues on appeal: (1) that service of process pursuant to 12 O.S. Supp.1996 § 2004(C)(6)3 creates a rebuttable presumption that a defendant served with process pursuant to that section has actual knowledge of the pending hearing and that the default judgment rendered could only be vacated if the defendant denied under oath that he knew about the hearing;4 (2) that the default judgment should not have been vacated because there was substantial evidence that the previous attempts at service had failed because defendant was intentionally evading service; (3) that appellant was denied due process because the president of defendant corporation, a non-lawyer, was allowed to represent the corporation in small claims court; and (4) the defendant's president breached his fiduciary duty to the corporation and the trial court should have thus refused to allow its president, Mark McKee, to represent the corporation in small claims court.

¶ 5 As is typical of small claims cases, the record is sparse. The hearing on the Motion to Vacate was not...

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2 practice notes
  • Hurlbut v. Morrow, No. 96,599.
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma
    • August 9, 2002
    ...materials necessary for the corrective relief he requests. Pryor v. Mid-West Investigations & Process Serving, Inc., 2000 OK CIV APP 22, 999 P.2d 452. ¶ 37 The record shows Trustee's expert was a certified experienced appraiser, but had not appraised a hunting lease before. His extensive te......
  • ADIBI v. PRESTIGIOUS HOMES BY FRANK SADEGHY, No. 95,054.
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma
    • August 23, 2002
    ...of Covington v. Coberly, 1929 OK 147, 275 P. 1064. In Pryor v. Mid-West Investigations & Process Serving, Inc., 2000 OK CIV APP 22, ¶ 10, 999 P.2d 452, 455, this Court stated: "Plaintiff's final allegation is also without merit. Whether other stockholders in a corporation may have a cause o......
2 cases
  • Hurlbut v. Morrow, No. 96,599.
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma
    • August 9, 2002
    ...materials necessary for the corrective relief he requests. Pryor v. Mid-West Investigations & Process Serving, Inc., 2000 OK CIV APP 22, 999 P.2d 452. ¶ 37 The record shows Trustee's expert was a certified experienced appraiser, but had not appraised a hunting lease before. His extensive te......
  • ADIBI v. PRESTIGIOUS HOMES BY FRANK SADEGHY, No. 95,054.
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma
    • August 23, 2002
    ...of Covington v. Coberly, 1929 OK 147, 275 P. 1064. In Pryor v. Mid-West Investigations & Process Serving, Inc., 2000 OK CIV APP 22, ¶ 10, 999 P.2d 452, 455, this Court stated: "Plaintiff's final allegation is also without merit. Whether other stockholders in a corporation may have a cause o......

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