Our law firm recently represented a national equipment supplier in an action to foreclose on a materialmen’s lien action; the trial court awarded our client judgment in the principal amount of $508,993.77 against our client’s customer and its guarantor. As so often happed, the original debtor (our client’s customer) was insolvent so we began post-judgment collection efforts against the guarantor. He responded by filing a Motion to Set Aside Judgment based upon improper service.
As it turns out, the sheriff’s deputy who was serving the lawsuit and summons served the guarantor by leaving the documents with an individual who was a part-time personal assistant to the debtor. The debtor used this as an excuse to attempt to avoid our client’s judgment against him. At the hearing on the guarantor’s motion to set aside our judgment, the guarantor argued that the he had never been served with the complaint and he had never waived service. We offered testimony that showed the guarantor had intentionally attempted to evade service, that he had constructive knowledge of the lawsuit, and that he was attempting to thwart our client’s rights. The court found the guarantor’s testimony regarding issues related to service to be inconsistent, and in general, not credible. The court further held that the guarantor, who bore the burden of proving the service was improper, did not meet that burden. In doing so, the court found that the guarantor was required to submit some corroborating evidence in addition to his own testimony. Thus, our client’s judgment was upheld.
Needless to say, we were very pleased to inform our client that we were able to defeat the guarantor’s motion and preserve our client’s half-million dollar judgment. If you are a supplier or contractor experiencing payment issues related to a construction project, consider contacting us and using our experienced techniques to help you file and enforce your mechanics and materialmen’s liens throughout Georgia.