Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Kelly v. Shad, Day 12, And Still No Service Of Process

It’s now been twelve days since Tim Kelly filed suit against City Councilman Art Shad and, according to the Duval County Clerk’s office, Shad has yet to be served the summons, complaint and proposed discovery.

Normally, this would not be so unusual as it is often difficult to locate a defendant or catch him or her so that service can be perfected. This is why the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure provides 120 days from the date the complaint is filed to serve a defendant.

But here, we’re talking about a public figure and a suit that was in the papers and on the news a few days after it was filed.

It is not uncommon for a party (especially a public figure) to consent to service to avoid the embarrassment of having a sheriff show up on your front steps handing you suit papers while your neighbors are watching behind curtains and hedgerows (as if having your name splashed all over the news for decking some innocent guy or admitting to a drug dependency isn’t embarrassing enough).

So why the delay in service? One theory I have is that Kelly was merely firing a shot across the proverbial bow by filing suit to get Art to take settlement negotiations seriously, but that he otherwise has no intention in engaging in time consuming litigation.

If this is the case, and I hope it's not, then I think Kelly is wasting his time. Afterall, Shad was quoted as saying that Kelly’s claim is only about money. Clearly Shad refuses to dignify any negotiations with a reasonable offer to settle.

A lawsuit with full blown discovery and depositions may be the only thing that Shad will take serious as he'll be required to answer questions, under oath, that would not bode well for his standing within the (obviously ignorant and blind) community.

Is Shad truly unwilling to accept the consequences of his violent actions by refusing to compensate a man whose lip he split open (which, by the way, I think elevates the crime to a felony assault)? Apparently, yes. If his wife has to take him to court to get child support and alimony, then it should come as no surprise that he would duck civil liability here.


Jimmy Midyette said...

If they don't perfect service by 4/22, I can give the process server a clue as to Mr. Shad's whereabouts on that day. Just serve him at 6:00 PM in Council chambers in the St. James Building.

John said...

-Clearly Shad refuses to dignify any negotiations with a reasonable offer to settle.

I might have missed something but how is this so clear? Because no settlement has been reached do we assume that Shad has made no reasonable offer? That might indeed be the case but I hardly think that it is clear that no reasonable offer has been made.

Maybe it's just that your rumor mill has informed you that Shad has made no reasonable offer. Now if that's the case then suddenly it is so much more clear and certain.

And what is the amount that Shad could offer that we could consider reasonable? Just wondering.

Colony said...

Shall I post some jury verdict reports so we can all have an idea of the value of an intentional tort that results in permanent disfigurement? I've put that on my to do list for tomorrow. Stay tuned.

I think, as do many others, that this matter would be better resolved in a criminal, rather than civil, court.

John said...

If you are going to post those why don't you also post pictures of the disfigurement each victim was left with and then also post a picture of Kelly's disfigurement.

I admittedly have no clue how disfigured Kelly is or isn't. But just posting jury verdict reports seems meritless unless the corresponding disfigurement was similar. Wouldn't you agree?

Lastly, your feelings that it should be criminal come from personal dislike and partisan politics. Wouldn't you agree with that as well?

Colony said...

What Shad did was criminal. There's nothing partisan about demanding that the State Attorney do his job. It seems more partisan NOT to demand a criminal investigation. Or would you rather let people run around town tossing punches at others with impunity?

As far as jury verdicts, it wouldn't make much sense for me to post a verdict on an amputation when I'm trying to assess the value of facial scarring, would it?

John said...

Well, I actually agree with you on both points.

But I also think that your blogs about Art are dripping with partisanship. And for me, this weakens your opinions, your arguments, your whole blog. He may indeed be an asshole but I find myself coming to his defense because of the witchhunt mindset.

Honestly, if Art were a working class democrat would you be going after him so hard? No way you would. Of course you will disagree with that point but it will be hard to dissaude me now after having already read through your posts.

Colony said...

Thank you for reading. I hope to count you as a regular contributor.