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Fields v. Williams

United States District Court, D. Nevada

May 14, 2019

MITCHELL FIELDS, Plaintiffs,
v.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER [DOCKET NO. 29]

          Nancy J. Koppe United States Magistrate Judge

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for the Clerk's Office to issue summons for Defendant Romeo Aranas. Docket No. 29. Plaintiff submits that the Office of the Attorney General would not accept service on behalf of Defendant Aranas. Id. at 1. Plaintiff asks the Court to order the Attorney General's Office to file Defendant Aranas' last-known address under seal and to order the Clerk's Office to issue summons. Id. at 2. The Court finds that the motion is properly resolved without a hearing. See Local Rule 78-1.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff alleges violations of his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for events that occurred during his incarceration at High Desert State Prison. Docket No. 8 at 4-14. The Court screened Plaintiff's amended complaint and ordered that two of Plaintiff's claims of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs and one claim of equal protection may proceed. See Docket No. 7. On October 18, 2018, the Court ordered the Clerk's Office to serve Plaintiff's amended complaint on the Attorney General's Office and further ordered the Attorney General's Office to file a notice advising the Court and Plaintiff of: (a) the names of the defendants for whom it accepts service; (b) the names of the defendants for whom it does not accept service; and (c) the names of the defendants for whom it is filing the last-known address information under seal. Docket No. 14 at 1-2. The Court also ordered that “[s]ervice must be perfected within ninety (90) days from the date of this order pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m).” Id. at 2.

         II. Analysis

         A. Motion to File Defendant Aranas' Last-Known Address Under Seal

         On November 8, 2018, the Attorney General's Office accepted service on behalf of Defendants James Dzurenda, Brian Williams, Dwight Neven, Antony Ritz, and Brian Williams, but did not accept service on behalf of Defendant Romeo Aranas. Docket No. 15 at 1. Further, the Attorney General's Office filed, under seal, the last-known address of Defendant Aranas, and filed a notice of the submission. Docket No. 16 at 1; Docket No. 17.

         Accordingly, the Court DENIES as moot the portion of Plaintiff's motion that asks the Court to order the Attorney General's Office to file Defendant Aranas' last-known address under seal. Docket No. 29.

         B. Request for Clerk to Issue Summons

         Plaintiff further asks the Court to order the Clerk's Office to issue summons for Defendant Aranas. Docket No. 29 at 2. In determining Plaintiff's request, this Court turns to Rule 4(m) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Under Rule 4(m), service must be accomplished within 90 days from the date a complaint is filed. According to Rule 4(m), “[i]f a defendant is not served within 90 days after the complaint is filed, the court-on motion or on its own after notice to the plaintiff-must dismiss the action without prejudice against that defendant or order that service be made within a specified time.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m). However, “if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court must extend the time for service for an appropriate period.” Id. The Court must liberally construe the pleadings of a pro se party. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 & n.7 (9th Cir. 2010).

         In liberally construing Plaintiff's motion, the Court finds good cause to extend the period for service on Defendant Aranas by 60 days from today's date, or July 13, 2019. Accordingly, Plaintiff's request for the Clerk's Office to issue summons for Defendant Aranas, Docket No. 29, is GRANTED.

         The Court INSTRUCTS the Clerk's Office to issue summons for Defendant Aranas. The Clerk's Office shall send to Plaintiff one USM-285 form. Plaintiff shall have twenty days in which to furnish the U.S. Marshal with the required Form USM-285 (with Defendant Aranas' address omitted). The Clerk's Office shall send a copy of the amended complaint, Docket No. 8, and a copy of this order to the United States Marshal for service on Defendant Aranas. Within twenty days after receiving from the U.S. Marshal a copy of the Form USM-285, showing whether service has been accomplished, Plaintiff must file a notice with the Court identifying whether Defendant Aranas was served. The Court FURTHER orders that Defendant Aranas' last-known address shall remain sealed.

         III. Conclusion

         For the reasons stated above, Plaintiff's motion, Docket No. 29, is GRANTED ...


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