Editor's Note:  The following document and commentary was sent to the Walking Horse Report by attorney Tom Kakassy in North Carolina.  Kakassy is representing Tim Plafcan in his USDA case.  The Report appreciates Kakassy's sharing of the document.

While every jurisdiction has rules for the service of legal pleadings, the USDA Rules of Practice allow for an attempt at service on the respondent by certified mail, and unfortunately presume that regular mailing after an unsuccessful attempt at a certified mailing is "good" service. 

In this case, the respondent was adamant that he never received any papers and responded as soon as he knew a default was about to be entered against him, but was "defaulted " anyway.  Interestingly, USDA responses to our motion attached a blacked-out address on a certified receipt. Judge Davenport's decision is gratifying in reinforcing our ideas about due process and fair play. 

Click here to view Judge Davenport’s decision.