Chancery Rule 4(d) specifies how service of a summons and complaint shall be made and specifies the manner of personal service upon various classes of defendants. Rule 4(d)(7) allows for an order directing a different or an additional mode of service of a summons in a special case. In Skye Mineral Investors v. DXS Capital (U.S.) Limited, 2021 WL 2983182 (Del. Ch. July 15, 2021), Vice Chancellor Joseph Slights was called upon to decide whether the alternative means of service he had approved were reasonable and fair and consistent with due process.

The case involved a dispute among members of a Delaware limited liability company, Skye Mineral Partners, LLC. SMP’s majority members alleged that its minority members orchestrated a scheme wrongfully to divest SMP of its lone asset, a wholly owned operating subsidiary, CS Mining, LLC, by driving CSM into bankruptcy and then buying its assets at a steep discount in an auction sale conducted under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Plaintiffs also pled that entities and individuals within the minority members’ ownership group aided and abetted the fiduciary breaches.