ME2 Productions, Inc v. Doe 1 et al
ORDER denying plaintiff's 22 Motion for Extension of Time and Dismissing Case by Judge Robert S. Lasnik.(RS) Modified on 2/16/2017/cc Linda Maiga (RS).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
ME2 PRODUCTIONS, INC.,
Case No. C16-1776RSL
JOHN DUNCAN, et al.,
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR
EXTENSION OF TIME AND
This matter comes before the Court on plaintiff’s motion for an extension of time
in which to serve the complaint. Dkt. # 22. A party generally has 90 days after a
complaint is filed in which to serve the defendant. Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m). It can be
challenging to meet this deadline in BitTorrent cases where plaintiff must first conduct
discovery from the ISP before it can identify, name, and serve the defendant. It can be
done, however, and the Court has repeatedly indicated that it expects at least a good faith
effort to comply with the service deadline. Where the motion for leave to conduct
expedited discovery is filed and granted in a timely manner and the ISP responds
promptly, plaintiff has some time – a few days or weeks depending on the production date
– in which to pursue an amicable resolution of the case before utilizing the waiver of
service procedure set forth in Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(d). If plaintiff opts to spend additional
time negotiating with persons who have not yet been named as defendants, it would still
have time to engage a process server and accomplish service in a timely manner. In these
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR EXTENSION
OF TIME AND DISMISSING CASE - 1
scenarios, an extension of time should be necessary only if a defendant failed to waive or
was dodging service.
Here, plaintiff is not seeking an extension of time because the Court delayed in
granting the discovery request, because the ISP delayed in producing the necessary
information, or because defendants impeded timely service. Despite obtaining the
necessary contact information more than a month before the February 14, 2017, service
deadline, there is no evidence that plaintiff made any attempt to timely serve.1 Rather,
plaintiff opted to spend almost six weeks informally communicating with the subscribers
before filing an amended complaint and seeking an extension of the service deadline.
Good cause has not been shown. Despite prior warnings (see CELL Film
Holdings, LLC v. Rogers, C16-1180RSL, Dkt. # 13 at 2 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 31, 2016)),
plaintiff has not adjusted its procedures sufficiently to account for the known and
expected delays in accomplishing service in these cases. Nor has it made any effort to
accomplish service prior to the expiration of the service deadline. Plaintiff’s apparent
preference for weeks of informal discussions does not excuse its failure to comply with
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court finds that an extension of the service
deadline is not warranted. This action is hereby DISMISSED without prejudice for failure
to comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m).
Dated this 16th day of February, 2017.
Robert S. Lasnik
United States District Judge
Plaintiff’s motion states that it “is promptly mailing out waivers of service.” Dkt. # 22
at 3. There is no explanation for why this step was not taken in a timely manner, nor is there any
evidence to support the bald assertion of intended action. Dkt. # 23.
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR EXTENSION
OF TIME AND DISMISSING CASE - 2
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