United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
BERNARD A. FRIEDMAN, JUDGE
matter is presently before the Court on defendants'
motion to dismiss [docket entry 6]. Plaintiffs have responded
and defendants have replied. Pursuant to E.D. Mich. LR
7.1(f)(2), the Court shall decide this motion without a
a debt collection practices case. Plaintiffs allege that
defendants violated their rights under the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act and the Michigan Collection
Practices Act in February and March 2018 by making various
false representations regarding a debt plaintiffs owed under
a land contract, failing to provide a validation notice,
leaving harassing and misleading voicemail messages regarding
the debt, mailing a harassing and misleading forfeiture
notice, and filing a state-court lawsuit claiming amounts not
actually owed. They seek damages, costs, and attorney fees.
seek dismissal on the grounds that they have not been served
properly with process and that service was not timely. Under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(e), an individual may be served in a manner
permitted by state law or personally or by “leaving a copy
of [process] at the individual's dwelling or usual place
of abode with someone of suitable age and discretion who
resides there” or by “delivering a copy of
[process] to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to
receive service of process.” Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(h), a
corporation may be served in a manner permitted by state
or by delivering process “to an officer, a managing or
general agent, or any other agent authorized by appointment
or by law to receive service of process.” Further,
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 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. But if the plaintiff shows good
cause for the failure, the court must extend the time for
service for an appropriate period.
present case, plaintiffs were required to serve defendants by
May 20, 2019, as the complaint was filed on February 19,
2019. Plaintiffs have not shown that either defendant was
served by this deadline. Nor have plaintiffs shown good cause
for this failure.
indicate that on April 9, 2019, they mailed a copy of the
summons and complaint to defendants along with a request to
waive service. Defendants deny receiving this mailing.
Whether defendants received it or not is irrelevant for
present purposes because defendants did not execute the
waivers and therefore plaintiffs were required to serve them
with process using one of the methods specified above.
counsel indicates that on May 13, he hired a process server,
Richard Wolk, to personally serve defendants. Wolk avers that
3. On May 14, 2019 at approximately 4:00 p.m. I attempted to
serve a lawsuit on David E. Ghannam at his law office located
at 15900 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, Michigan.
4. At that time I spoke with “Dana” who
identified herself as a receptionist who works for Mr.
5. Dana told me that Mr. Ghannam was not present at which
time she attempted to call him.
6. I heard Dana ask Mr. Ghannam if she could accept service
on his behalf. Dana then told me that Mr. Ghannam instructed
her not to accept service.
7. Dana further told me that Mr. Ghannam would be present in
the office on ...