Dantzler v. Tatom et al
ORDERED that the Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to send the U.S Marshals Service another 285 form along with the summons form. The Marshal shall forthwith effect personal service upon Defendant. Signed by Magistrate Judge G. R. Smith on 5/23/17. (loh)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
MARY N. DANTZLER,
GEORGIA PORTS AUTHORITY,
The Court screened and greenlit service of Mary Dantzler's
employment discrimination suit against Georgia Ports Authority,
finding she had adequately alleged violations of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and Rehabilitation Act
(RA), 29 U.S.C. § 794 et seq. See doc. 10. The Court further permitted
Dantzler to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP), and ordered service of the
Complaint and Summons to be effectuated by the United States
Marshal on her behalf. Docs. 7 & 10; see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(3)
(where a plaintiff is authorized to proceed IFP, the Marshal shall
accomplish service on her behalf).
The Complaint was filed on March 31, 2017. Doc. 1. A summons
was issued on April 18, 2017, and a copy of both Dantzler's First and
Second Amended Complaints were served upon defendant on April 28,
2017. Doc. 13 (United States Marshal Return of Service USM 285
Form, reflecting service of "Summons & Complaint" upon Griff Lynch of
the Georgia Ports Authority). Defendant complains that it never
received a copy of the summons, so it seeks dismissal of the Complaint
for failure to perfect service under Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(1) (providing that
"Fall summons must be served with a copy of the complaint."). Doc. 14.
As the 90-day deadline for service is still weeks away, however,
technically perfect service may yet be accomplished (with time to spare).
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m).
Crediting defendant's claim that no summons was provided when
the Marshal delivered copies of the First and Second Amended
Complaints, see doc. 14-1 (Affidavit of Griffith Lynch), the Clerk of
Court is therefore DIRECTED to send the United States Marshals
Service another USM 285 form along with the summons form.' See Fed.
Should defendant wish to know the contents of the summons ahead of service, it
may view docket entry 13 on the Court's docket at its convenience. For that matter,
nothing prevented the GPA from waiving this technical service defect (the Marshal
evidently dropped the summons ball), which is now being remedied at additional
taxpayer expense. See, e.g., Wai v. Rainbow Holdings, 315 F. Supp. 2d 1261, 1276
(S.D. Fla. 2004) (though "technically improper," defendant voluntarily accepted
service of process de facto "since their attorney has received the papers").
R. Civ. P. 4(c)(3) The Marshal shall forthwith effect personal service
SO ORDERED, this 23rd day of May, 2017.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
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