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Kimberly R. Olson v. Kent Pederson

August 2, 2011

KIMBERLY R. OLSON, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLANT,
v.
KENT PEDERSON, DEFENDANT AND RESPONDENT.



(Super. Ct. No. SCSCCVCV090450)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Murray ,j.

Olson v. Pederson

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Kimberly R. Olson brings this pro se appeal from an order granting the motion of defendant Kent Pederson to quash service of summons for defective service. Olson contends: (1) the trial court misstated her burden in opposing Pederson's motion to quash; (2) the motion to quash should have been denied because Pederson received actual notice of the complaint; and (3) the trial court erred in ruling that Pederson's motion to quash was a special appearance. We find none of these contentions to have merit and affirm the trial court's order.

BACKGROUND

Olson's complaint is not in the record on appeal. It appears, however, that she initially sued Northern Credit Service and Does 1 through 10 based on allegations they acted improperly in collecting money from her and/or caused false reports about her to be sent to credit agencies. Thereafter, Olson sought to serve Kent Pederson as "John Doe # 2."

Pederson moved to quash service of summons based on defective service and lack of personal jurisdiction. In his declaration in support of the motion, Pederson stated the following. He resides in Klamath Falls, Oregon, and is president of Carter-Jones Collection Service, Inc., an Oregon corporation. Carter-Jones's principal place of business is in Klamath Falls, Oregon, and it is also authorized to do business in California. Carter-Jones does business as defendant Northern Credit Service (NCS) throughout the Northwest and in Northern California. NCS maintains a branch office in Yreka. All accounts assigned for collection to NCS's Yreka office, including Olson's, are handled entirely by personnel in that office. Specifically, Pederson averred he "did not personally perform any work in connection with NCS's efforts to collect money from Olson nor participate in any way in any of the alleged conduct complained of in the complaint." Finally, Pederson was never personally served with the summons and complaint in this case, and no personnel in NCS's Yreka office are authorized to accept service of process for Pederson personally.

In opposition to the motion to quash, Olson argued Pederson subjected himself to general and specific personal jurisdiction in California because he "created, operates and maintains" NCS in Yreka. Service was proper, she argued, because it complied with statutory requirements and provided Pederson with actual notice of the complaint and summons.

Olson also submitted the declaration of Peter Harrell, who averred that she had asked him to identify and serve Doe defendants. In April 2009, Harrell went to NCS's Yreka office. He observed a framed business license issued for NCS that listed Pederson as the "owner," along with a building permit and "other, related documents" in the window that had Pederson's name on them. A Better Business Bureau website identified Pederson as the principal and "customer contact" for NCS's Yreka office and NCS's 1998 business license was issued to Pederson. Harrell visited NCS's Yreka office three times in February and March 2010 and was told on each occasion that Pederson was not in the office. Harrell "left the documents [he] had been asked to serve with the receptionist, told her that they related to a legal action that had been filed against Mr. Pederson, and that she needed to provide them to him."

The hearing on the motion to quash was held May 4, 2010. Pederson's counsel and Olson appeared. The reporter's transcript of that hearing is not in the record.

The trial court granted Pederson's motion to quash on the ground that Olson failed to meet her burden of showing that NCS's Yreka office was Pederson's "usual place of business." The court declined to decide the question of whether Pederson is subject to personal jurisdiction in California because the issue was "not ripe." It ruled ...


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