§56-3-33. Actions by or against nonresident persons having certain contacts with this state; authorizing Secretary of State to receive process; bond and fees; service of process; definitions; retroactive application.
(a) The engaging by a nonresident, or by his or her duly authorized agent, in any one or more of the acts specified in subdivisions (1) through (7) of this subsection shall be deemed equivalent to an appointment by such nonresident of the Secretary of State, or his or her successor in office, to be his or her true and lawful attorney upon whom may be served all lawful process in any action or proceeding against him or her, in any circuit court in this state, including an action or proceeding brought by a nonresident plaintiff or plaintiffs, for a cause of action arising from or growing out of such act or acts, and the engaging in such act or acts shall be a signification of such nonresident's agreement that any such process against him or her, which is served in the manner hereinafter provided, shall be of the same legal force and validity as though such nonresident were personally served with a summons and complaint within this state:

(1) Transacting any business in this state;

(2) Contracting to supply services or things in this state;

(3) Causing tortious injury by an act or omission in this state;

(4) Causing tortious injury in this state by an act or omission outside this state if he or she regularly does or solicits business, or engages in any other persistent course of conduct, or derives substantial revenue from goods used or consumed or services rendered in this state;

(5) Causing injury in this state to any person by breach of warranty expressly or impliedly made in the sale of goods outside this state when he or she might reasonably have expected such person to use, consume or be affected by the goods in this state: Provided, That he or she also regularly does or solicits business, or engages in any other persistent course of conduct, or derives substantial revenue from goods used or consumed or services rendered in this state;

(6) Having an interest in, using or possessing real property in this state; or

(7) Contracting to insure any person, property or risk located within this state at the time of contracting.

(b) When jurisdiction over a nonresident is based solely upon the provisions of this section, only a cause of action arising from or growing out of one or more of the acts specified in subdivisions (1) through (7), subsection (a) of this section may be asserted against him or her.

(c) Service shall be made by leaving the original and two copies of both the summons and the complaint, and the fee required by section two, article one, chapter fifty-nine of this code with the Secretary of State, or in his or her office, and such service shall be sufficient upon such nonresident: Provided, That notice of such service and a copy of the summons and complaint shall forthwith be sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, by a means which may include electronic issuance and acceptance of electronic return receipts, by the Secretary of State to the defendant at his or her nonresident address and the defendant's return receipt signed by himself or herself or his or her duly authorized agent or the registered or certified mail so sent by the Secretary of State which is refused by the addressee and which registered or certified mail is returned to the Secretary of State, or to his or her office, showing thereon the stamp of the post-office department that delivery has been refused. After receiving verification from the United States postal service that acceptance of process, notice or demand has been signed, the Secretary of State shall notify the clerk's office of the court from which the process, notice or demand was issued by a means which may include electronic notification. If the process, notice or demand was refused or undeliverable by the United States postal service the Secretary of State shall return refused or undeliverable mail to the clerk's office of the court from which the process, notice or demand was issued. If any defendant served with summons and complaint fails to appear and defend within thirty days of service, judgment by default may be rendered against him or her at any time thereafter. The court may order such continuances as may be reasonable to afford the defendant opportunity to defend the action or proceeding.

(d) The fee remitted to the Secretary of State at the time of service shall be taxed in the costs of the action or proceeding. The Secretary of State shall keep a record in his or her office of all such process and the day and hour of service thereof.

(e) The following words and phrases, when used in this section, shall for the purpose of this section and unless a different intent be apparent from the context, have the following meanings:

(1) "Duly authorized agent" means and includes among others a person who, at the direction of or with the knowledge or acquiescence of a nonresident, engages in such act or acts and includes among others a member of the family of such nonresident or a person who, at the residence, place of business or post office of such nonresident, usually receives and receipts for mail addressed to such nonresident.

(2) "Nonresident" means any person, other than voluntary unincorporated associations, who is not a resident of this state or a resident who has moved from this state subsequent to engaging in such act or acts, and among others includes a nonresident firm, partnership or corporation or a firm, partnership or corporation which has moved from this state subsequent to any of said such act or acts.

(3) "Nonresident plaintiff or plaintiffs" means a nonresident of this state who institutes an action or proceeding in a circuit court in this state having jurisdiction against a nonresident of this state pursuant to the provisions of this section.

(f) The provision for service of process herein is cumulative and nothing herein contained shall be construed as a bar to the plaintiff in any action or proceeding from having process in such action served in any other mode or manner provided by the law of this state or by the law of the place in which the service is made for service in that place in an action in any of its courts of general jurisdiction.

(g) This section shall not be retroactive and the provisions hereof shall not be available to a plaintiff in a cause of action arising from or growing out of any of said acts occurring prior to the effective date of this section.