Judgment by Publication Set Aside in Alabama

In Volcano Enterprises, Inc. v. Rush, the Court set aside a $37 million damages verdict rendered after the plaintiff had obtained a default judgment after service by publication. The Court stated that the committee comments to Rule 4.3, Ala. R. Civil Procedure provide that more than mere inability to find the defendant is required to justify service by publication because of the Rule’s use of the term “avoidance” of service. The burden is on the plaintiff to prove avoidance of service in order to justify service by publication, a burden the plaintiff here failed to meet in the present case.