Keefe v. Montana State et al
ORDER denying 6 Motion for Default Judgment Signed by Magistrate Judge John Johnston on 11/17/2017. Copy mailed to Plaintiff (DED)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
MONTANA STATE, MICHAEL
FLETCHER, and LINDA JESS,
Plaintiff Jordan Keefe filed a Motion for Default arguing that it has been 53
days since service of the summons and complaint and Defendants have not
responded. (Doc. 6.) Rule 55(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides,
“[w]hen a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed
to plead or otherwise defend, and that failure is shown by affidavit or otherwise,
the clerk must enter the party’s default.”
In this case, there is no indication that the Complaint has been properly
served upon Defendants. Because Mr. Keefe is proceeding in forma pauperis,
“[t]he officers of the court shall issue and serve all process.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d).
But, as Mr. Keefe was previously advised (Doc. 4), pursuant to the federal statutes
governing proceedings in forma pauperis and cases filed by prisoners, federal
courts must engage in a preliminary screening of a case to assess the merits of the
claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Accordingly, the Court
must identify cognizable claims, or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the
complaint, if the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. The Court
will not direct service of Mr. Keefe’s Complaint until the completion of this
Because there is no proof of service of the Complaint in this matter, there is
no basis for the entry of default or default judgment.
Accordingly, the Court issues the following:
Mr. Keefe’s Motion for Default Judgment (Doc. 6) is DENIED.
DATED this 17th day of November, 2017.
/s/ John Johnston
United States Magistrate Judge
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