United States District Court, D. Nevada
U. Williams, Esq. Attorney for Ruby Hunter, Pro Bono In
Conjunction with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada
PROPOSED ORDER (ECF NO.
Ruby Hunter has brought contract claims against National
Relocation Van Lines and National Relocation Solutions,
pursuant to the federal Interstate Commerce Commission
Termination Act (formerly known as the Carmack Amendment), 49
U.S.C. § 14706, et seq. Before the court are
Hunter's combined motions to extend time for service of
process, and to serve the defendants by publication (ECF No.
4). For the reasons discussed below, Hunter's motions are
2015, Ruby Hunter contracted with National Relocation
Solutions (NRS) to move her belongings, including furniture
and household goods, from her hometown in Greenwood, Indiana
to Las Vegas, Nevada. (See Compl. (ECF No. 1), at
¶¶ 27-28). NRS sub-contracted with National
Relocation Van Lines (NRV). (Id. at ¶ 27).
After paying $4, 375.55 in advance, as agreed upon by the
parties, Hunter was just due to pay an additional $1, 640.90
upon pick-up. (See Id. at ¶¶ 29, 33)
However, after the deliverymen, agents for NRV, placed
Hunter's entire belongings on their truck, they demanded
nearly twice as much, or $3, 307.50. (See Id. at
¶¶ 36-38) Seeing that they would neither return her
belongings to her, nor take them to the agreed upon location,
Hunter paid the sum demanded. (See Id. at
¶¶ 36-40) Subsequently, the defendants breached the
contract by failing to timely deliver her belongings to Las
Vegas, and when they finally did, they delivered many of
Hunter's most treasured belongings broken. (See
Id. at ¶¶ 53-56) Then, despite her written
agreement, the driver of the moving van refused to allow
Hunter to recover her belongings without paying an additional
$3, 500.00, in cash, on the spot. (See Id. at
¶¶ 46-47) The movers attempted to physically
intimidate Hunter, going so far as to follow the elderly
woman into her empty apartment, demanding that she make the
payment. (See Id. at ¶¶ 27, 48)
Furthermore, the driver failed to give Ruby a lading receipt,
or any documentation of the move. (See Id. at ¶
51) In total, Hunter made payments to the defendant in the
amount of $7, 858.75-instead of the $4, 375.55 that she
contracted for. (See Id. at ¶¶ 29, 32-33,
exhausting her administrative remedies by filing a formal
claim with the defendants, Hunter timely filed this lawsuit
in February 2018, within two years of her receiving an
unfavorable response to her claim from the defendants.
(See Id. at ¶¶ 24-26) Hunter was accepted
into the pro bono program of the Legal Aid Center of
Southern Nevada, and assigned to an attorney who filed a
lawsuit in this court on her behalf.
date, however, Hunter has been unable to locate or serve the
defendants. Hunter retained the services of a professional
process server, who is also a private investigator, to
effectuate service of process on each of the defendants.
(See generally, ECF No. 4; Exhibit 1, Affidavit of
Telia U. Williams, Esq.) However, the server has still
neither been able to serve, nor locate the defendants.
(See ids.) Hunter's counsel's investigation
(along with the aid of a paralegal) showed that NRV was last
known to have its headquarters at:
(See ECF No. 4, at 4: 25-26).
last known to have its headquarters at:
National Relocation Solutions 1585 Sulphur Spring Road
Arbutus, Maryland 21227
(See id., at 5: 2-4). The applicable corporate
licensing agencies in North Carolina and Maryland report that
both companies, NRV and NRS, respectively, are not in good
standing. (See id., at 5). The Secretary of State of
North Carolina reports that NRV was “administratively
dissolved” on June 5, 2015. (See id.)
Similarly, the Maryland Department of Assessments and
Taxation reports that NRS's corporate status is currently
“forfeited.” (See id.) Moreover, Hunter
confirmed that the Secretary of State of Nevada does not have
a registered agent listed for either company, despite the
companies having contracted to deliver Hunter's goods to
Nevada. (See id., at 5).
on May 11, 2018, Hunter requested the court to grant her an
additional 120 days in which to serve the defendants, and to
serve them by publication.
motions raise two questions: (1) whether the court may extend
the time to serve the defendants under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 4(m); and, (2) whether Hunter may serve the
defendants by publication under Nevada Rule of Civil
Procedure 4(e)(1)(i). Both questions are addressed below.
Hunter's Motion to ...