Leonard v. Cattahach

In Leonard v. Cattahach, 214 Wis. 2d 236, 248, 571 N.W.2d 444 (Ct. App. 1997), the insurer was deemed served for the purpose of commencing a cause of action by the substitute service provision of Wis. Stat. 601.73(1). See id. at 242. Under 601.73(2)(b), after the insurance commissioner has been served with two copies of the summons and complaint, he or she is required to mail a copy to the insurer who, in turn, is required to answer within twenty days of service. See id. In Leonard, the insurer failed to serve and file an answer within the twenty-day period; therefore, the victim of a default judgment argued that Wis. Stat. 801.15(5)(a) added three days to the twenty-day period. See Leonard, 214 Wis. 2d at 246-47. The Court found that Wis. Stat. 801.15(5)(a) did not apply because the mailing from the commissioner's office to the insurer, after it accepted service on the insurer's behalf, did not constitute "service of a notice or other paper," which is the language used in 801.15(5)(a). See Leonard, 214 Wis. 2d at 247-48. The Court also held that 801.15(5)(a) does not apply when special rules require service to be effected through the commissioner. See id.