On August 13, 2013, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania denied a motion by Statoil Onshore Properties, Inc. (Statoil) to dismiss a case due to insufficient service of process. Instead, the court granted the plaintiff, Valley Rod & Gun Club (Valley), a thirty day extension to properly serve Statoil.
Valley named Statoil, as well as Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC and Anadarko E & P Company (Anadarko), as co-defendants in a recent case. Valley did not directly serve Statoil in the action. Nevertheless, Valley asserted that it satisfied all service requirements because Valley did serve Anadarko who Valley alleged was 1) partners in a joint venture with Statoil and 2) was Statoil’s authorized agent.
The court ruled that Anadarko and Statoil were not partners in a joint venture and that Anadarko was not Statoil’s authorized agent. Thus, it was determined that Statoil was not properly served in the action. Nevertheless, the court found that Statoil would not be prejudiced by allowing Valley an additional thirty days to effect service.
Written by M. Sean High – Research Fellow
The Penn State Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
August 22, 2013