Williams v. White et al
ORDER that the Clerk of Court will send a copy of this Order and Docket No. 14 to the U.S. Marshals Service. The U.S. Marshal shall use reasonable efforts to locate and obtain service on Defendants White and Moore. The Clerk is also respectfully instructed to update the docket in this matter to reflect Defendant FNU Moore as Defendant Thomas M. Moore. Signed by Chief Judge Frank D. Whitney on 2/3/2020. (Pro se litigant served by US Mail.)(nvc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
EDWARD WILLIAMS, III,
SUSAN WHITE, et al.,
THIS MATTER is before the Court on its own motion.
On January 24, 2020, the NCDPS filed a document under seal indicating it was unable to
procure a waiver of service for Defendants Susan White and FNU Moore for the reasons stated in
that document. [Doc. 14]. The NCDPS also indicated that it has been unable to identify Defendant
John Doe. [Id.]. The sealed document provides the last known address for Defendants White and
FNU Moore. The sealed document also provides that Defendant FNU Moore is actually Thomas
M. Moore. [Id.].
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);
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”).
Here, despite that requests for waivers of service were submitted to the NCDPS, no waivers
from Defendants White, Moore, or John Doe were obtained. As such, it does not appear that these
Defendants actually ever received service of process. With the additional information supplied for
service on Defendants White and Moore, the U.S. Marshal is hereby ordered to use reasonable
efforts to locate and obtain service on these Defendants in accordance with Rule 4.
To that end, the Court will direct the Clerk of Court to provide a copy of Docket No. 14 to
the U.S. Marshal for its eyes only for the sole purpose of serving Defendants White and Moore.
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that:
(1) The Clerk of Court will send a copy of this Order and Docket No. 14 to the U.S.
(2) The U.S. Marshal shall use reasonable efforts to locate and obtain service on
Defendants White and Moore in accordance with Rule 4.
(3) The Clerk is also respectfully instructed to update the docket in this matter to reflect
Defendant FNU Moore as Defendant Thomas M. Moore.
Signed: February 3, 2020
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