Deutsche Bank Nat.Trust Co. v. Akbulut (IL)

Summary: Alleged “defective” return of service lacking a process server's employment status with a private detective agency did not invalidate service, and thus, did not void the subsequent judgment of foreclosure, especially after the employment status was cured by an amended affidavit.


Deutsche Bank Nat.Trust Co. v. Akbulut, 2012 IL App. (1st) 112978.

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Facts:  Deutsche Bank filed a mortgage foreclosure action on April 19, 2010, against Nasif Akbulut, the owner of a property located in Chicago. Akbulut was personally served the next day by Ryan Terry. The affidavit of service listed United Processing, Inc. (one of three private detective agencies appointed to serve process for Deutsche Bank) and Terry’s name but nothing indicating that Terry was an employee of United Processing, Inc., appointed by the court to serve process. Akbulut did not answer or appear in court and the Circuit Court of Cook County entered a judgment for foreclosure in favor of Deutsche Bank on April 13, 2011.

Deutsche Bank sold the property at auction for $546,907 on July 15, 2011. Thereafter, Akbulut filed a motion to quash service on July 19, 2011, asserting that no evidence showed Terry’s appointment as process server, rendering service invalid. Deutsche Bank filed an amended affidavit of service averring that Terry was “an employee or agent of United Processing, Inc. … appointed by the court to serve process.” The court denied Akbulut’s motion to quash and confirmed the sale of the property, leading to this appeal.

Holding:  Affirmed. The appellate court affirmed the decision of the circuit court. Although a judgment entered by a court lacking jurisdiction may be attacked at any time, and a judgment obtained without proper service is void, Akbulut failed to cite any authority supporting his implicit contention that the failure to mention a process server’s employment status in the return of process invalidated service. Akbulut correctly pointed out that when a private detective agency is appointed to serve process, it must use one of its employees to accomplish that service; any defect in the original affidavit of service regarding Terry’s employment status was cured by the amended affidavit and the circuit court was entitled to rely upon the amended affidavit.

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By: ATG Underwriting Department | Posted on: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 1:37pm