You’ve Got Mail.

The appellant in Abuzaid v. Anani LLC, a user of the venerable AOL email service, alleged that he did not receive notice of a summary judgment hearing. The Fifth Ciurt first noted:

Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 21a allows for electronic service of documents “if the email address of the party or attorney to be served is on file with the electronic filing manager.” It is undisputed Abuzaid’s email was on file to receive electronic service of documents, and he repeatedly availed himself of the process. . . . The rule does not contemplate that electronic service is somehow incomplete when a party experiences computer or email issues. Rather, notice properly sent pursuant to rule 21a raises a presumption that notice was received.”

(citations omitted). Here, the appellant did not overcome that presumption:

“Under rule 21a, constructive notice may be established if the serving party presented evidence that the intended recipient engaged in instances of selective acceptance or refusal of service of documents. Here, Abuzaid has not denied receiving the January 13, 2016 email attaching the motions for summary judgments and stating, ‘We will notify you via separate correspondence with the hearing date on these motions.’ Further, the record establishes Abuzaid sent and received numerous electronic filings and notices without incident at the email address on file with the trial court up until the day before appellees’ electronically filed their summary judgment motions and notice of hearing. . . . .  Given the conflicting evidence, it was within the trial court’s discretion not to believe Abuzaid’s unsupported, self-serving statements about computer issues causing him not to ‘see’ the delivered documents and determine he engaged in selective acceptance of documents.”

No. 05-16-00667-CV (Nov. 21, 2017) (mem. op.)

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