§ 19-14-10. Attorney for service of process.
(a) Every licensee shall appoint, and thereafter maintain, in this state a resident attorney with authority to accept process for the licensee in this state, including the process of garnishment.
(1) The appointment shall be filed with the director, or the director's designee, in whatever format he or she directs. The power of attorney shall provide all contact information, including the business address, street and number, if any, of the resident attorney. Thereafter, if the resident attorney changes his or her business address or other contact information, he or she shall, within ten (10) days after any change, file in the office of the director, or the director's designee, notice of the change setting forth the attorney's current business address or other contact information.
(2) If the resident attorney dies, resigns, or leaves the state, the licensee shall make a new appointment and file the power of attorney in the office of the director, or the director's designee. The power of attorney shall not be revoked until this power of attorney shall have been given to some other competent person resident in this state and filed with the director, or the director's designee.
(3) Service of process upon the resident attorney shall be deemed sufficient service upon the licensee.
(4) Any licensee who fails to appoint a resident attorney and file the power of attorney in the office of the director, or the director's designee, as above provided for, or fails to replace a resident attorney for a period of thirty (30) days from vacancy, shall be liable for a penalty not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) and shall be subject to suspension or revocation of the license.
(5) Upon the filing of any power of attorney required by this section, a fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) shall be paid to the director for the use of the state.
(6) Any licensee that is a corporation and complies with the provisions of chapter 1.2 of title 7 is exempt from the power of attorney filing requirements of this section. Any licensee that is a limited partnership or limited liability company and complies with the provisions of chapters 13 and 16 of title 7 is exempt from the power of attorney requirements of this section.
(b) Any process, including the process of garnishment, may be served upon the director, or the director's designee, as agent of the licensee in the event that no resident attorney can be found upon whom service can be made, or in the event that the licensee has failed to designate a resident attorney as required, and process may be served by leaving a copy of the process with a fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) which shall be included in the taxable costs of the suit, action, or proceeding, in the hands of the director, or the director's designee. This manner of service upon the licensee shall be sufficient, provided that notice of service and a copy of the process shall be immediately sent by certified mail by the plaintiff, or the plaintiff's attorney of record, to the licensee at the latest address filed with the director, or the director's designee. If the licensee has not filed his or her address pursuant to this chapter, notice of service shall be given in any manner that the court in which the action is pending may order as affording the licensee reasonable opportunity to defend the action or to learn of the garnishment. Nothing contained in this section shall limit or affect the right to serve process upon a licensee in any other manner now or hereafter permitted by law.
(P.L. 1995, ch. 82, § 52; P.L. 2005, ch. 36, § 18; P.L. 2005, ch. 72, § 18; P.L. 2014, ch. 106, § 3; P.L. 2014, ch. 125, § 3; P.L. 2016, ch. 512, art. 1, § 6.)