Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual) v. U.S. Prefab Incorporated et al
ORDER denying 9 Motion for Court Approval to Serve Certain Defendants by Publication as set forth herein. Signed by Judge James A Teilborg on 6/20/12.(LAD)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual), an
No. CV 12-501-PHX-JAT
U.S. Prefab, Inc., an Arizona corporation;
and Harry O. Woody, an unmarried man,
Pending before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion for Court Approval to Serve Certain
Defendants by Publication (Doc. 9). The Court now rules on the Motion.
Plaintiff filed a Complaint in this Court on March 9, 2012, asserting breach of
contract and fraud claims against Defendants. Plaintiff now seeks an order allowing it to
serve Defendants by publication pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(e)(1) and
Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 4.1(n).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(e)(1) provides, in relevant part that, “[u]nless
federal law provides otherwise, an individual . . . may be served in a judicial district of
the United States by: (1) following state law for serving a summons in an action brought
in courts of general jurisdiction in the state where the district court is located or where
service is made” Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(e)(1).
LEGAL STANDARD AND ANALYSIS
Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 4.1(n) provides that service by publication may
be permitted “[w]here the person to be served is one whose residence is unknown to the
party seeking service but whose last known address was within the state, or has avoided
service of process, and service by publication is the best means practicable under the
circumstances for providing notice of the institution of the action.” Ariz. R. Civ. P.
4.1(n). “The decision whether to pursue personal service or service by publication is that
of the plaintiff, not the court [and] [b]ecause the court does not preauthorize service by
publication, the determination whether publication constitutes adequate service is made
later in the case.” Ritchie v. Salvatore Gatto Partners, 222 P.3d 920, 923 n. 4 (Ariz. Ct.
App. 2010) (citing Ariz. R. Civ. P. 4.1(n) and Roberts v. Robert, 158 P.3d 899, 904 (Ariz.
Ct. App. 2007)). Because Plaintiff need not seek Court approval to effect service by
publication, Plaintiff’s motion for authorization of service by publication is denied.1
Based on the foregoing,
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Court Approval to Serve Certain
Defendants by Publication (Doc. 9) is denied as set forth herein.
Dated this 20th day of June, 2012.
Once service by publication is completed, as authorized by Arizona Rule of
Civil Procedure 4.1(n), and Plaintiff files (1) an affidavit showing the manner and dates
of publication and mailing and the circumstances warranting the utilization of the
procedure as authorized by 4.1(n) and (2) a printed copy of the publication(s), such
affidavit will serve as prima facie evidence of compliance with 4.1(n). See Ariz. R. Civ.
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