Little v. Mackeyboy Auto, L.L.C.
There is no exclusive means for service on a limited liability company and service on a limited liability company's general manager constituted proper service under C.G.S. §52-57(c). The defendant, Mackeyboy Auto, LLC, appealed to the Appellate Court following the denial of its motion to open and set aside a default judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, James Little. The defendant contended that the court abused its discretion in denying the motion because the defendant had not been served properly with process and had a valid defense to the plaintiff's claims. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment. The defendant argued that the trial court abused its discretion in denying its motion to open and set aside the default judgment because William McNeilly was not served with the action as the registered agent for the defendant limited liability company. The trial court noted that McNeilly did not have to be served in his capacity as the registered agent of the defendant in order to effectuate proper service on the defendant. The court concluded that service on McNeilly as the general manager constituted proper service under C.G.S. §52-57(c). As the trial court noted, there is no exclusive means for service on a limited liability company. Although C.G.S. §34-105(a) provides that process may be served upon the limited liability company's statutory agent for service," subsection (e) of C.G.S. §34-105 expressly states that "[n]othing contained in this section shall limit or affect the right to serve any process, notice or demand required or permitted by law to be served upon a limited liability company in any other manner permitted by law." Accordingly, the trial court reasonably concluded that the defendant was properly served with process and had legal notice of the plaintiff's suit. Consequently, it was not necessary for the trial court to address the defendant's claim that it had a proper defense to the action. The court found that the defendant did not show that its purported defense had not been raised by reasons of mistake, accident or other reasonable cause. The defendant never claimed that it had not received notice of the action. The trial court reasonably could have determined that the defendant had legal and actual notice of the action.