from the District Court of Williams County, Northwest
Judicial District, the Honorable Benjamen J. Johnson, Judge.
L. Rogneby (argued), Bismarck, N.D., and Caren L. Stanley (on
brief), Fargo, N.D., for plaintiff and appellee.
K. Porsborg (argued) and Austin T. Lafferty (appeared),
Bismarck, N.D., and John T. Runde (on brief), Corpus Christi,
Texas, for defendant and appellant.
1] Ewing Construction Co., Inc., appeals from a judgment
denying its N.D.R.Civ.P. 60(b) motion to vacate a $951,
191.62 default judgment entered in favor of Key Energy
Services, LLC. Because the district court did not err in
ruling service of process was proper and did not abuse its
discretion in denying the motion to vacate, we affirm.
2] Ewing is a Texas corporation with its principal place of
business in Houston, Texas. Bill Ewing, Jr., is its CEO. In
2012 Ewing began serving as the designer of and general
contractor for Key's construction of the P3 Service
Center project in Williston. Ewing voluntarily canceled its
North Dakota contractor license in October 2014. In January
2015, Key sued Ewing and 22 others to invalidate construction
liens filed against its property and claiming Ewing failed to
pay numerous subcontractors for their work on the project in
violation of its contractual obligations. After Ewing failed
to answer the complaint, Key moved in June 2016 for a default
judgment against Ewing. The district court granted the motion
and entered default judgment against Ewing, awarding Key
$951, 191.62. The default judgment was entered on June 24,
2016, and Key served notice of entry of judgment on June 27,
3] On May 12, 2017, after attempts were made to enforce the
default judgment in Texas, Ewing brought a N.D.R.Civ.P. 60(b)
motion to vacate the default judgment "because of
insufficient service of process, and excusable neglect."
Key responded by filing a corrected return of service which
the district court accepted and considered. The corrected
return of service was notarized and identified the documents
served. On July 28, 2017, the court denied the N.D.R.Civ.P.
60(b) motion, concluding service of process was sufficient,
the motion was untimely, and Ewing failed to establish
4] Ewing argues the district court erred in denying the
motion for relief from the default judgment because of
improper service of process in the original action and
because he established mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or
5] Ewing argues the district court lacked jurisdiction to
enter the default judgment because of improper service of
6] Under N.D.R.Civ.P. 4(d)(3)(A), service of process outside
North Dakota may be accomplished in the same manner as
service within this state. See Monster Heavy
Haulers, LLC v. Goliath Energy Servs., LLC, 2016 ND 176,
¶ 13, 883 N.W.2d 917. Ewing's sole claim is that the
sheriff's return of service was inadequate because under
N.D.R.Civ.P. 4(j)(1), the "certificate, affidavit...
must state the date, time, place, and manner of
service." Ewing argues the original return of service