Water Splash, Inc. v. Menon

PETITIONER: Water Splash, Inc
RESPONDENT: Tara Menon
LOCATION: Galveston, Texas

DOCKET NO.: 16-254
DECIDED BY:
LOWER COURT: State appellate court

CITATION: US ()
GRANTED: Feb 12, 2016

Facts of the case

Water Splash, Inc. is a Delaware corporation that makes aquatic playgrounds known as “splash pads” that are popular in urban areas. Tara Menon is a Canadian citizen who lives in Quebec, Canada, and at one point worked for Water Splash as a regional sales representative. Later, Menon began to work for South Pool, a Water Splash competitor. Sometime in 2012, Water Splash learned that South Pool had used some of its drawings and designs when it submitted a bid to the City of Galveston to construct splash pads at two of its city parks, and Water Splash subsequently sued Menon in Texas state court.  Water Splash served Menon by mail, as allowed by a Texas Rule of Civil Procedure. When Menon did not respond, the trial court award Water Splash a default judgment.

Menon filed a motion for a new trial seeking to set aside the default judgment because service was not accomplished pursuant to the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (the “Hague Service Convention”), a treaty that governs service of process from one member state to another. Both the United States and Canada are signatories to the treaty. The trial court denied Menon’s motion for a new trial but the Texas Court of Appeals reversed and held that the Hague Service Convention did not authorize service by mail. The Texas Court of Appeals denied a motion for a rehearing en banc, and the Supreme Court of Texas denied review.

Question

 

Does the Hague Service Convention authorize service of process by mail?