United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
Kristine G. Baker, United States District Judge.
the Court is plaintiff Lakhraj Manohar's motion for
default judgment and demand for jury trial and motion to
expedite (Dkt. Nos. 32, 33). For the reasons discussed below,
the Court denies Mr. Manohar's motion for default
judgment and demand for jury trial and his motion to expedite
(Dkt. Nos. 32, 33).
matter has been pending for some time, and it remains
unresolved due to difficulties serving defendants. Mr.
Manohar has not provided the address for defendants, though
his complaint states that at least one defendant is located
at “St. Bernard Hospital” which is located at the
“corner of Carson and Matthews.” (Dkt. No. 1, at
3). The summonses to defendants have therefore been sent to
St. Bernard's Hospital in Jonesboro, Arkansas, which is
located at 225 East Jackson Avenue, Jonesboro, AR 72401
(see Dkt. Nos. 17, 18, 19, 25, 26, 27, 30, 34).
Court has previously denied Mr. Manohar's two separate
motions for default judgment for failure to effect service
upon defendants (Dkt. Nos. 23, 29). When denying Mr.
Manohar's latest motion for default judgment, the Court
held that defendants Lieutenant Baxter and Mr. Vandergriff
have not been served with process by Mr. Manohar in
accordance with Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure (Dkt. No. 29, at 2). Since Mr. Manohar is
proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court directed the
Clerk's Office to prepare the summonses in this matter
for Lieutenant Baxter and Mr. Vandergriff and ordered the
U.S. Marshal to serve the defendants in accordance with Rule
4 of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (Id., at
4). As to Mr. Ollo, the Court directed Mr. Manohar to provide
to the Court, within 14 days of the entry of that Order,
confirmation of the address or an updated address and contact
information for Mr. Ollo (Id.).
summonses to Lieutenant Baxter and Mr. Vandergriff have been
returned unexecuted (Dkt. Nos. 30, 34). On April 30, 2019,
Mr. Manohar filed an untimely notice in which he informed the
Court that the addresses for defendants are correct (Dkt. No.
31). No. one has entered an appearance on behalf of any of
the defendants nor have any of the defendants filed answers.
Motion For Default Judgment And Demand For Jury
Court denies Mr. Manohar's motion for default judgment
and demand for jury trial (Dkt. No. 32). “When a party
against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has
failed to plead or otherwise defend, and that failure is
shown by affidavit or otherwise, the clerk must enter the
party's default.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). Mr. Manohar
has not demonstrated that the defendants have failed to plead
or otherwise defend in this action because he provides no
proof that the defendants were properly served with process.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(e), an individual may be
served in any of the following ways: (1) following the state
laws for service where the individual is located; (2)
delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to the
individual personally; (3) by leaving a copy of the summons
and complaint at the individual's usual place of abode;
or (4) by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to
an authorized agent of the individual. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(e). Per
Arkansas Rule of Civil Procedure 4(d)(8)(A)(i), an individual
may be served via certified mail in the following
[B]y any form of mail addressed to the person to be served
with a return receipt requested and delivery restricted
to the address or the agent of the addressee. The
addressee must be a natural person specified by name, and the
agent of the addressee must be authorized in accordance with
U.S. Postal Service regulations.
Ark. R. Civ. P. 4(d)(8)(A)(i) (emphasis added).
Manohar is not entitled to entry of a default judgment
against Lieutenant Baxter, Mr. Vandergriff, or Mr. Ollo, as
there is no proof that service was made on defendants. The
defendants are individuals. Mr. Manohar offers no record
evidence that any defendant was served in conformity with the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or the Arkansas Rules of
Civil Procedure. The summonses sent to Lieutenant Baxter and
Mr. Vandergriff by certified mail with a return receipt and
delivery restricted to the addressees were returned
unexecuted (Dkt. Nos. 30, 34). There is no other evidence in
the record indicating that defendants have been effectively
served. For these reasons, the Court denies Mr. Manohar's
motion for default judgment and demand for jury trial (Dkt.
Failure To Effect Service
reasons previously stated, it appears that none of the
defendants have been properly served in this action. More
than 90 days have passed since Mr. Manohar's complaint