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McRae v. Ellis

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Dublin Division

April 24, 2015

MARGIE McRAE, Plaintiff,
v.
DEBRA ANN ELLIS; PAULINE ELLIS; CANDACE ELLIS; and DOES 1-3, Defendants.

ORDER

BRIAN K. EPPS, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff has paid the $400.00 filing fee in the above-captioned case. Because she is proceeding pro se, the Court will provide her with some basic instructions regarding the development and progression of this case.

Initially, Plaintiff is responsible for serving the defendants. In order to properly request that the defendants waive personal service[1], Plaintiff must

(1) obtain from the Clerk of Court an appropriate number of copies of
(a) the notice of lawsuit and request to waive service of summons form, and
(b) the waiver of service of summons form;
(2) complete both forms for each defendant; and
(3) mail the completed notice form, along with a copy of the file-stamped complaint and two waiver forms, to each of the defendants by first class mail, with a prepaid means for returning the waiver form, and request that the defendant waive formal service of the summons.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(d).

Plaintiff must serve the defendants within 120 days from the date her complaint was filed, and failure to do so may result in the dismissal of individual defendants or the entire case. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m). Individuals, corporations, partnerships, and associations have a duty to avoid unnecessary expenses of serving the summons, and a defendant who fails to sign and return a waiver without good cause must bear the expenses incurred in making personal service. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(d)(1) & (2). A defendant whose return of the waiver is timely does not have to answer the complaint until sixty days after the date Plaintiff mails the request for waiver. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(d)(3). However, should a defendant choose not to waive personal service of the summons and complaint, Plaintiff is still responsible for properly effecting personal service. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(c), (e) & (h).

IT IS ORDERED THAT Plaintiff shall serve upon the defendants, or upon their attorneys if appearance has been entered by counsel, a copy of every further pleading or other document submitted to the Court. Plaintiff shall include with the papers to be filed a certificate stating the date a true and correct copy of any document was mailed to each defendant or defendants' counsel. Fed.R.Civ.P. 5; Loc. R. 5.1. Every pleading shall contain a caption setting forth the name of the court, the title of the action, and the file number. Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(a). Any paper received by a District Judge or Magistrate Judge that has not been properly filed with the Clerk of Court or that fails to include a caption or certificate of service will be returned.

It is Plaintiff's duty to cooperate fully in any discovery that may be initiated by the defendants. Upon being given at least five days notice of the scheduled deposition date, Plaintiff shall appear and permit her deposition to be taken and shall answer, under oath and solemn affirmation, any question that seeks information relevant to the subject matter of the pending action. Failing to answer questions at the deposition or giving evasive or incomplete responses to questions will not be tolerated and may subject Plaintiff to severe sanctions, including dismissal of this case. The defendants shall ensure that Plaintiff's deposition and any other depositions in the case are taken within the 140-day discovery period allowed by this Court's Local Rules.[2]

While this action is pending, Plaintiff shall immediately inform this Court and opposing counsel of any change of address. Failure to do so will result in dismissal of this case.

Plaintiff must pursue this case; if Plaintiff does not press the case forward, the Court may dismiss it for want of prosecution. Fed.R.Civ.P. 41; Loc. R. 41.1. If Plaintiff wishes to obtain facts and information about the case from any defendant, Plaintiff must initiate discovery. See generally Fed.R.Civ.P. 26 through 37 (containing the rules governing discovery and providing for the basic methods of discovery). Plaintiff should begin discovery promptly ...


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