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Jones v. Barnhart

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

February 6, 2015

JOHN JONES, (#162751), Plaintiff,
v.
PATRICIA BARNHART and PAULA MASS, Defendants.

ORDER DIRECTING THE U.S. MARSHAL TO ATTEMPT PERSONAL SERVICE UPON DEFENDANT PAULA MASS

ANTHONY P. PATTI, Magistrate Judge.

A. Plaintiff filed his amended complaint against two defendants.

John Jones (#162751) is currently incarcerated at the MDOC's Thumb Correctional Facility (TCF) in Lapeer, Michigan. Jones initiated this lawsuit on May 26, 2010 against several defendants. DE 1. Plaintiff Jones is proceeding in forma pauperis in this lawsuit.[1]

Three (3) years later, on August 22, 2013, Plaintiff Jones filed an amended complaint (DE 59) in which he named only two (2) defendants: Patricia Barnhart, a former TCF Warden, and Paula Mass, a former Physician Assistant at TCF.

B. The U.S. Marshal has effected service upon Defendant Barnhart; however, defendant Paula Mass. has yet to appear.

"When a litigant proceeds in forma pauperis, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(c)(3) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915 require the district court to order that service be made on the plaintiff's behalf." Williams v. Lindamood, 526 Fed.Appx. 559, 564 (6th Cir. 2013). Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(c)(3) provides:

At the plaintiff's request, the court may order that service be made by a United States marshal or deputy marshal or by a person specially appointed by the court. The court must so order if the plaintiff is authorized to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 or as a seaman under 28 U.S.C. § 1916.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(3) ("By a Marshal or Someone Specially Appointed.").

Over the course of this lawsuit, this Court has directed the U.S. Marshal to effect service on several occasions. See DE 7, DE 58, DE 60 and DE 83. For example, on the date the amended complaint was filed, Judge Tarnow entered an order (DE 58) which, in part, directed the U.S. Marshal to effect service on Barnhart and Mass. On September 27, 2013, Judge Tarnow entered an order (DE 60) order directing service without prepayment of costs and directing the MDOC to provide certain information as to Paula Mass.

The U.S. Marshal sent a waiver to Barnhart on October 22, 2013. Barnhart executed the waiver on November 12, 2013, and it was filed with the Court on November 26, 2013. DE 62. Thus, Barnhart has appeared.

However, more than one (1) year after the filing of the amended complaint, it seems that Defendant Paula Mass. has yet to be served.

C. The U.S. Marshal's attempts at service by mail have resulted in the discovery that Defendant Paula J. Mass, P.A., is a former employee of Corizon Health, rather than of the MDOC.

Attempts to effect service upon Defendant Mass. have not been without this Court's effort. For example, in Magistrate Judge Komives's February 27, 2014 report (DE 68), he recommended that the Court enter another order requiring the MDOC to provide certain information and directing the U.S. Marshal to attempt service upon Defendant Mass.

On April 22, 2014, the U.S. Marshal acknowledged receipt of documents for service of process upon Defendant Mass. DE 76. That same day, the U.S. Marshal attempted service of process upon Defendant Mass. by mail ...


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