Lawrence E. Mergenthaler
Triumph Mortgage Corp.
A. Sergovic, Jr., Esquire Rachel B1eshman, Esquire Sergovic
Carmean Weidrnan McCartney & Owens, P.A.
Richard L. Abbott, Esquire Abbott Law Firm, LLC
ABIGAIL M. LEGROW JUDGE.
Counsel, This is an action that, at this stage, involves
Plaintiffs ongoing efforts to collect on a judgment entered
against Defendant. On January 6, 2017, Defendant's
counsel filed a general entry of appearance indicating
counsel represented Defendant "in this
action." On October 12, 2018, Plaintiffs counsel
served on Defendant's counsel discovery requests relating
to Plaintiffs execution efforts. On December 18, 2018,
Plaintiff filed a motion to compel responses to that
discovery (the "Motion"). After the Motion was
filed, Defendant's counsel filed a "corrected entry
of appearance" purporting to limit the scope of
counsel's representation to motions to quash and
"related proceedings." In a nutshell,
Defendant's counsel appears to contend that he represents
Defendant only for purposes of quashing a writ of execution
and not for any other purpose, including the discovery.
Accordingly, Defendant's counsel asserts Defendant never
was served with the discovery that is the subject of the
morning, the Court heard Plaintiffs Motion. Neither Defendant
nor Defendant's counsel appeared at the hearing.
Simultaneously with this letter, the Court is entering an
order granting the Motion. This letter briefly summarizes the
Court's ruling on the Motion; the Court explained the
ruling in greater depth at the hearing.
the Court considered sua sponte whether
Defendant's pending appeal divests the Court of
jurisdiction to consider the Motion. The Court concluded that
it retains jurisdiction over the discovery and the Motion
because the discovery is independent from the subject of the
appeal, which is the writ of execution and the associated
motion to quash. The discovery relates to Plaintiffs other
collection efforts, and the Supreme Court's ruling on the
appeal will not alter whether Plaintiff is entitled to engage
in those collection efforts. Although the general rule is that
proper perfection of an appeal divests a trial court of
jurisdiction over a cause of action, in some instances the
trial court may exercise its jurisdiction as to collateral or
independent matters. In my view, this discovery is collateral
to, and will not be affected by, the resolution of
the Court considered whether Defendant properly was served
with the discovery at issue. Under Superior Court Civil Rule
ll(b), service on a party represented by an attorney must be
made upon that party's attorney. At the time Plaintiff
served the discovery, Defendant's counsel had entered a
general appearance on behalf of Defendant relating to
"this action." Nothing in the record suggested the
entry of appearance was limited to the motion to quash, and
Defendant's counsel previously responded to and opposed a
motion unrelated to the motion to quash. Accordingly, at
the time the discovery was served, Defendant's counsel
represented Defendant in this action, and Plaintiff was
required to serve Defendant through its counsel. Service of
the discovery and the Motion therefore was effective.
the Court concluded the Motion must be granted. Defendant,
despite properly being served, has not responded to
discovery. More than 30 days have elapsed since discovery was
served. Under Superior Court Civil Rule 37(a)(4), Plaintiff
also is entitled to an award of attorneys' fees incurred
in obtaining the order compelling discovery. Plaintiffs
counsel shall file a fee affidavit within five days.
the Court hereby advises Defendant's counsel that the
"corrected entry of appearance" is not effective in
limiting the scope of counsel's appearance in this
action. Having filed a general entry of appearance,
Defendant's counsel cannot withdraw from some or all
aspects of the representation without complying with Superior
Court Civil Rule 5(aa)(1).
IS SO ORDERED.
 D.I. 94.
 Defendant's counsel first advised
Plaintiff of the limited scope of the representation in late
November 2018, after Plaintiff wrote to Defendant's