ME2 Productions, Inc v. Doe 1 et al
ORDER granting in part 18 Motion for Extension of Time, by Judge Robert S. Lasnik. Plaintiff has until April 8, 2017 to file proofs of waiver as to all defendants or a second motion for extension of time detailing the efforts made toward effecting personal service. (KERR)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
ME2 PRODUCTIONS, INC.,
Case No. C16-1881RSL
SUKHVEER SINGH, et al.,
ORDER GRANTING IN PART
MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF
This matter comes before the Court on plaintiff’s motion for an extension of time
in which to serve the complaint. Dkt. # 18. 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 and serve the defendant. It can be done,
however, and the Court expects 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
brought into the suit, it would still have time to engage a process server and accomplish
service in a timely manner. In these scenarios, an extension of time should be necessary
ORDER GRANTING IN PART MOTION
FOR EXTENSION OF TIME - 1
only if a defendant failed to waive or was dodging service.
Here, plaintiff obtained the necessary contact information more than five weeks
before the March 8, 2017, service deadline. It opted to send two letters to the subscribers
and delayed mailing the waivers until it was too late to obtain responses within the
allotted time frame. It now seeks a sixty day extension of time so that it can receive
waivers and, if one or more defendants refuse to waive, can hire a process server.
Although good cause has not been shown and the Court expects plaintiff to further
modify its procedures as set forth above, plaintiff has at least attempted service prior to
the deadline and has timely moved for an extension. In these circumstances, the Court
finds that dismissal of this action would be unnecessarily punitive. Nevertheless, a
prophylactic sixty day extension of the service deadline – to deal with the possibilities
that one or more defendants may refuse to waive and/or that personal service may prove
difficult – is not warranted. Plaintiff shall have an additional month, until April 8, 2017,
to file proofs of waiver as to all defendants or a second motion for extension of time
detailing the efforts made toward effecting personal service.
Dated this 22nd day of February, 2017.
Robert S. Lasnik
United States District Judge
ORDER GRANTING IN PART MOTION
FOR EXTENSION OF TIME - 2
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