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Rokeach v. Krichman

Decided: December 7, 1940.

I. ROKEACH & SONS, INC., A CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, PROSECUTOR,
v.
JOHN KRICHMAN AND DISTRICT COURT OF THE SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF THE COUNTY OF BERGEN ET AL., RESPONDENTS



On writ of certiorari.

For the prosecutor, Murray Greiman.

For the respondents, Feder & Rinzler (Joseph A. Feder and Jack Rinzler).

Before Justices Case, Donges and Heher.

Case

The opinion of the court was delivered by

CASE, J. The writ brings up an order made in the District Court of the Second Judicial District of the county of Bergen refusing to quash service of process.

John Krichman instituted action in the District Court against I. Rokeach & Sons, Inc., and another. Summons was issued and returned served on "Moe Leff, agent, for I. Rokeach & Sons, Inc., a corporation, the defendant, by reading the same to him and delivering to him a copy thereof, with state of demand attached. Served at the corner of Market Street and River Road, East Paterson, N.J." Whether, assuming Moe Leff to be an agent for service, the return adequately

certified service upon the corporate defendant is not questioned and not decided.

Special appearance was entered for the corporation, and motion was made on its behalf to quash the service of process. Following the taking of testimony the court determined that the service upon the corporate defendant was valid.

The proceedings on certiorari were premature. The District Court was not a special tribunal. It had general jurisdiction of the subject-matter of the suit. Ordinarily, in such an instance a writ of certiorari does not go until after final decision. Mowery v. Camden, 49 N.J.L. 106, 109; Plainfield v. McGrath, 117 Id. 348; Newark v. State Board, 15 N.J. Mis. R. 368; Breen Iron Works v. Richardson, 115 N.J.L. 305. A finality would have been reached had certain factual elements appeared and had the trial court set aside the service. Weiss v. Shapiro Candy Manufacturing Co., 124 Id. 534. Manifestly, when the service was held good, further progress in the case was open. There was no final judgment. However, the writ was allowed and no question of the nature just mentioned has been presented. The case has been fully argued, and we shall dispose of it on its merits.

Respondents seek to sustain the service by reference to two statutes, R.S. 2:32-28 and R.S. 2:26-44. The testimony, stated in an aspect most favorable to the sustaining of the service of process, was as follows: The service was made upon Moe Leff who was a truck driver for the corporate defendant. Leff had been employed by the corporation for many years, but he was neither an officer, a director nor a stockholder. His duties were to deliver merchandise where he was told to do so. He covered "this district" (an undefined expression which may be assumed to indicate a certain amount of territory within which East Paterson is located), would take orders, would sell merchandise from the truck in the event that a storekeeper wanted some particular article that was on the truck, and collected moneys. So far as Leff knew he was the only person doing business ...


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