The defendant in this federal lawsuit owned two homes. One was in California and the other was in Wisconsin. Craig Cunningham filed a lawsuit against Michael Montes and tried to serve Montes at his Wisconsin address. No one came to the door. The process server called Montes; he refused to provide his current location. After an ex parte submission by Cunningham, the U.S. District Court judge authorized service by publication.
Cunningham published notice in periodicals that circulate only in the Midwest. When Montes did not answer the complaint, the district court entered a default.
After learning of the lawsuit from a defendant in another of Cunningham’s lawsuits, Montes asked the court to set aside the default. The judge declined, stating that Montes had persistently tried to evade service in both California and Wisconsin. The judge then entered judgment for more than $175,000. Montes appealed.