United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
MONIQUE GRIMES, as Personal Representative of the Estate of DAMON GRIMES, Deceased, Plaintiff,
TROOPER MARK BESSNER, et al ., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S EMERGENCY EX PARTE
MOTION FOR ALTERNATE SERVICE OF SUMMONS AND AMENDED COMPLAINT
ON TROOPER MARK BESSNER [#8]
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff's Ex Parte Motion for
Alternate Service of Summons and Amended Complaint on Trooper
Mark Bessner Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(e)(1), filed on
October 3, 2017. Plaintiff moves for alternate service upon
Defendant, Michigan State Police Trooper Mark Bessner.
Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Bessner has evaded
Plaintiff's diligent attempts to officially effectuate
service of process through traditional means. The Court
conducted a hearing on this matter on October 6, 2017.
filed the instant 42 U.S.C. § 1983 excessive force
action on August 30, 2017. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant
Bessner's use of excessive force resulted in her fifteen
year-old son, Damon Grimes's death on August 26, 2017.
Specifically, Defendant Bessner deployed his taser directly
at Damon Grimes and striking him as he was riding an ATV,
which resulted in Damon Grimes being propelled into the rear
end of a vehicle.
the Plaintiff learned the identity of the Trooper who fired
his taser at Damon Grimes, Plaintiff filed an Amended
Complaint on September 20, 2017 naming Defendant Bessner, as
well as the officer who was with him on the date of the
incident. Plaintiff provided the Summons and Amended
Complaint to the process server, a former police officer, who
conducted a postal check and determined Defendant
Bessner's address. He confirmed that Defendant Bessmer
lives in the city identified during the postal search by
speaking with reliable sources at the Michigan State Police.
process server went to the address provided during the postal
check on September 22, 2017 at 5:35 p.m. and knocked on the
door, however nobody answered the door. He noted a minivan in
the driveway and left a card in the door which states
“Sorry we missed you please call as soon as possible we
have important legal paperwork for you.” The card also
provided a contact number and business information. He
returned the next day around noon, however there was no
answer at the door or any vehicles in the driveway. He noted
that the card he had left the previous day was gone. He went
back to the home a few days later, and again there was no
answer at the door or vehicles in the driveway. He left a
card. The next day, the process server reported the same
circumstances and noted that the card he had left the
previous day. On September 29, 2017, the process server
returned to the home and while there was no answer at the
door, he noted that his card was gone, the minivan was in the
driveway and the lights were on inside the residence. The
next day, a Saturday, he arrived at the home at 8:00 a.m. and
yet again nobody answered the door even though the minivan
was in the driveway. The process server decided to observe
the home. He knocked on the door about forty-five minutes
later, and nobody answered the door. He noticed the card he
left in the door the previous day had been removed. He
attempted to effectuate service roughly an hour later, but
again there was no answer at the door.
10:00 a.m. that day, a female arrived at the home. The
process server attempted to make contact with her but she
would only say “hello.” She then took the card
off the door and entered the house. She declined to answer
the door when the server knocked. The server made three
additional attempts to serve process, but the door was never
answered. He remained at the residence until roughly 4:00
p.m. The server also called multiple phone numbers associated
with Defendant, his wife and his suspected
attorney. He has not received any response to his
LAW & ANALYSIS
asserts that Defendant Bessner is intentionally evading
service. She requests that the Court permit alternate service
by posting the Summons and Amended Complaint on the front
door of his residence.
Rule of Civil Procedure 4(e)(1) governs service on an
individual within a judicial district of the United States.
The rule states that:
Unless federal law provides otherwise, an individual-other
than a minor, an incompetent person, or a person whose waiver
has been filed-may be served in a judicial district of the
United States by:
(1) following state law for serving a summons in an action
brought in courts of general jurisdiction in the state where
the district court is ...