LYNCH v. HALE et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting [ 18 Motion to Reopen Case; The Clerk shall provide to Plaintiff a transmittal letter explaining the procedure for completing 285 Forms (USM-285 Form) for Defendants Hale and Cohen, etc. Signed by Judge Robert B. Kugler on 1/6/2022. (dmr)(n.m.)
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civ. No. 18-5398 (RBK) (AMD)
OFFICER A. HALE, et al.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff, Matthew Lynch (“Plaintiff” or “Lynch”), is proceeding pro se with a civil rights
complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (See Dkt. No. 1). On April 5, 2019, this Court
proceeded Plaintiff’s complaint past screening. (See Dkt. No. 6). However, on April 15, 2019,
this Court mail was returned to this Court as undeliverable on Plaintiff. (See Dkt. No. 8). Thus,
as Plaintiff failed to comply with Local Rule 10.1 by keeping this Court apprised of his current
address, the matter was administratively terminated on April 25, 2019. (See Dkt. Nos. 9 & 10).
Plaintiff was given thirty days in which to update his address. (See Dkt. No. 10 at 1).
On December 18, 2020, or over nineteen months after this matter was administratively
terminated, Plaintiff submitted a notice of change of address. (See Dkt. No. 14). Subsequently,
on October 26, 2021, Plaintiff submitted another notice of change of address. (See Dkt. No. 15).
On December 6, 2021, Plaintiff submitted a motion to reopen this case. (See Dkt. No.
18). So that this Court can rule on this pending motion, the Clerk shall reopen this case.
Plaintiff indicates the only reason this case is closed is because the county jail where he
was previously detained failed to forward his mail. (See id. at 1). Assuming arguendo this is true,
Local Rule 10.1(a) makes it Plaintiff’s responsibility to update this Court of any address change
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which Plaintiff clearly failed to do. Thus, Plaintiff’s attempt to blame his inaction on the county
jail’s failure to forward his mail is insufficient.
Nevertheless, in the interest of justice, and under the particular circumstances of this case
only, despite Plaintiff’s clear failure to comply with this Court’s April 25, 2019 order to update
his address within thirty days, Plaintiff’s motion to reopen so that this case can continue is
At the time this Court previously administratively terminated this case in April, 2019, this
Court had just sent Plaintiff’s forms for him to complete to effectuate service on the two
Defendants. (See Dkt. No. 7). However, Plaintiff never returned those forms. (See Dkt. No. 12).
Accordingly, this Court shall send Plaintiff new forms for him to complete and return to the
Court to help effectuate service in this case.
Accordingly, IT IS on this 6th day of January 2022,
ORDERED that the Clerk shall reopen this case so that Plaintiff’s motion to reopen (Dkt.
No. 18) can be analyzed; and it is further
ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion to reopen (Dkt. No. 18) is granted; and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk shall provide to Plaintiff a transmittal letter explaining the
procedure for completing United States Marshal (“Marshal”) 285 Forms (“USM-285 Form”) for
Defendants Hale and Cohen; and it is further
ORDERED that Plaintiff shall complete the USM-285 forms for Defendants Hale and
Cortes each and return them to the Clerk of Court, Mitchell H. Cohen Building & U.S.
Courthouse, 4th and Cooper Streets, Camden, NJ 08101; and it is further
ORDERED that upon Plaintiff’s sending the completed forms to the Clerk, the Clerk
shall issue summons, and the United States Marshal shall serve a copy of the complaint (Dkt.
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No. 1), summons, this order and the Court’s proceed order (Dkt. No. 6) upon Defendants Hale
and Cohen pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d), with all costs of service advanced by the United
States1; and it is further
ORDERED that the Defendants Hale and Cohen shall file and serve a responsive
pleading within the time specified in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12; and it is further
ORDERED that pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) and § 4(a) of Appendix H of the
Local Civil Rules, the Clerk shall notify Plaintiff of the opportunity to apply in writing to the
assigned judge for the appointment of pro bono counsel; and it is further
ORDERED that, if at any time prior to the filing of a notice of appearance by Defendants,
Plaintiff seeks the appointment of pro bono counsel or other relief, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P.
5(a) and (d), Plaintiff shall (1) serve a copy of the application by regular mail upon each party at
his last known address and (2) file a Certificate of Service2; and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk shall send a copy of this order to Plaintiff by regular U.S. mail.
s/ Robert B. Kugler
ROBERT B. KUGLER
United States District Judge
Alternatively, the United States Marshal may notify defendants that an action has been
commenced and request that the defendant waive personal service of a summons in accordance
with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(d).
After an attorney files a notice of appearance on behalf of a Defendant, the attorney will
automatically be electronically served all documents that are filed in the case.
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