Ballard v. Haynes et al
ORDER that within 30 days of this Order, the U.S. Marshal shall use reasonable efforts to locate and obtain service on Defendant in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 4. If the U.S. Marshal is unable to locate and obtain and service on Defendant within this time period, the U.S. Marshal shall inform the Court of the efforts taken to locate and serve Defendant.. Signed by Chief Judge Frank D. Whitney on 4/23/18. (Pro se litigant served by US Mail.)(clc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
ROBERT S. BALLARD,
G. HAYNES, et al.,
THIS MATTER is before the Court on periodic status review.
Pro se Plaintiff Robert S. Ballard is a prisoner of the State of North Carolina, currently
incarcerated at Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina. Plaintiff filed this action on July 31,
2017, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, bringing a claim for deliberate indifference against Defendant
“G. Haynes,” alleged to be a doctor at Lanesboro Correctional Institution at all relevant times.
Following initial review by the Court, Plaintiff submitted summons forms for service on
Defendant Haynes by the U.S. Marshal at Lanesboro. On March 1, 2018, the U.S. Marshal
returned an unexecuted summons form, indicating that Defendant Haynes “lives in Raleigh, North
Carolina.” See (Doc. No. 12 at 1).
Generally, a plaintiff is responsible for effectuating service on each named Defendant
within the time frame set forth in Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m), and failure to do so renders the action
subject to dismissal. However, if an incarcerated plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis provides
the Marshals Service sufficient information to identify the defendant, the Marshals Service’s
failure to complete service will constitute good cause under Rule 4(m) if the defendant could have
been located with reasonable effort. See Graham v. Satkoski, 51 F.3d 710, 713 (7th Cir. 1995).
Before a case may be dismissed based on failure to effectuate service, the Court must first ensure
that the U.S. Marshal has used reasonable efforts to locate and obtain service on the named
defendants. See Greene v. Holloway, No. 99-7380, 2000 WL 296314, at *1 (4th Cir. Mar. 22,
2000) (where the district court dismissed a defendant in a Section 1983 action based on the
prisoner’s failure to provide an address for service on a defendant who no longer worked at the
sheriff’s office, remanding so the district court could “evaluate whether the marshals could have
served [Defendant] with reasonable effort”). Therefore, this Court will instruct the U.S. Marshal
to use reasonable efforts to locate and obtain service on Defendant.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:
Within 30 days of this Order, the U.S. Marshal shall use reasonable efforts to locate
and obtain service on Defendant in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 4. If the U.S.
Marshal is unable to locate and obtain and service on Defendant within this time
period, the U.S. Marshal shall inform the Court of the efforts taken to locate and
The Clerk is respectfully instructed to mail a copy of this Order to the U.S. Marshal.
Signed: April 23, 2018
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?