National Equipment Rental, Ltd. v. Szukhent

375 U.S. 311 (1964)


Szukhent (D), a Michigan resident, leased farm equipment from National (P), a New York corporation. The lease designated Weinberg, a New York resident, as agent for the purpose of accepting any service of any process within New York. D did not know Weinberg and the lease did not say that Weinberg had to tell D of notice. P sued D for a failure to make payments under the lease. A Marshall delivered the summons and complaint to Weinberg, who sent them to D, with a letter stating the documents had been served on her as D's agent. P also notified D of the service of process on Weinberg by certified mail. The district court quashed service of summon because the lease did not specifically require Weinberg to give notice to D. The court reasoned that this was a failure of the agency agreement. The court of appeals affirmed and certiorari was granted.