Sanders v. City of Detroit et al
ORDER Denying Withouth Prejudice 4 Motion for Alternate Service. Signed by District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. (LVer)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
DURONE J. SANDERS,
Case No.: 17-10331
Honorable Victoria A. Roberts
CITY OF DETROIT, ET AL.,
ORDER DENYING MOTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE
Plaintiff filed a Motion for Alternate Service on Defendants City of Detroit Police
Officers Roy Harris, William Morrison, Jeffrey Wawryzniak, Bashawn Gaines, Ryan Paul
and Sadie Howell (Doc. #4). He says that these defendants are all employed by the
City of Detroit Police Department (“DPD”); that summons and complaints were mailed to
them there, and that they have failed to acknowledge attempts to serve them. Plaintiff
asks the Court to require the City of Detroit Law Department to accept service for these
In response, the City says it is not clear the named Defendants are still employed
by the City and that even if they were, a contract between the City and the DPD only
allows the Law Department to accept service on behalf of the Chief of Police and when
individual officers request representation from the Law Department. Finally, the City
says Plaintiff’s motion is premature: the Complaint was only filed on February 2, 2017.
The Court agrees. Furthermore, Plaintiff does not state in his motion, what
attempts have been made to effectuate service; he only says “Defendants are evading
service even though the Complaint and Summons have been mailed to the DPD
Headquarters.” (Doc. #4, p. 2) This is insufficient to satisfy Plaintiff’s burden to
effectuate service under either federal or state rules; Plaintiff has not made a sufficient
showing that service of process cannot reasonably be made as provided by the rules.
Having said that, the Court is aware of the tremendous difficulties plaintiffs have
in attempting to obtain personal addresses for defendant police officers, and in serving
them generally. The Court is also aware that the City of Detroit Law Department can
find out whether the named Defendants are still employed as police officers; what
precincts they are assigned to; and can arrange for them to be served at a particular
time at their precincts. The Court advises the City Law Department to work with
Plaintiff’s counsel to arrange for personal service on any named Defendant who is still
employed by the City of Detroit.
IT IS ORDERED.
/s/ Victoria A. Roberts
Victoria A. Roberts
United States District Judge
Dated: April 18, 2017
The undersigned certifies that a copy of this
document was served on the attorneys of
record by electronic means or U.S. Mail on
April 18, 2017.
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