MN substitute service, statute of limitations

Minnesota case law summary by Attorney Richard Clem: MN substitute service, statute of limitations.

Robert Meeker, et al., v. IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company. MN substitute service, statute of limitations

In this case, the plaintiff served the defednant insurer by substituted service on the Commissioner of Commerce. Service on the commisioner was timely, but the affidavit of compliance was filed after the statute of limitations had run. The Minnesota Supreme Court held:

An action is commenced under Minn. Stat. 45.028 when a plaintiff makes substituted service on the Commissioner of Commerce by either sending a copy of the process by certified mail to, or leaving a copy of the process at, the Commissioner's office. To preserve the effectiveness of the service, a plaintiff must fulfill the other statutory requirements, including filing an affidavit of compliance in the district court, before the return day of the process.

However, the statute did not require that all of these actions take place before the limitations period expired. Therefore, in this case, the action was timely.

No. A13-1302 (Minn. April 8, 2015).

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

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