United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
MAKY N. DANTZLER, Plaintiff,
GEORGIA PORTS AUTHORITY, Defendant.
Mary Dantzler has filed suit against her former employer, the
Georgia Ports Authority, alleging violations of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et
seq., and Rehabilitation Act (RA), 29 U.S.C. § 794
et seq. Doc. 6.
alleges that she is "disabled" within the meaning
of the ADA because "she suffers from Attention Deficit
Disorder (ADD), a mental impairment which prevents the mind
from functioning normally in that it substantially limits
[her] ability to sleep, learn, concentrate and think."
Id. at 2. Further, she was otherwise qualified for
her job, until promoted to a position for which she lacked
experience and adequate training. Id. at 2-5. Her
repeated requests for training to accommodate her ADD were
denied or inadequately met, and as a result she was
disproportionately punished with negative performance reviews
and ultimately terminated. Id. at 4-12. Plaintiff
timely filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission, and was issued a right to
establish a prima facie case of discrimination under the ADA
and the RA,  an employee must show that (1) she has a
disability within the meaning of the ADA; (2) she is a
qualified individual; and (3) she was discriminated against
because of her disability. 42 U.S.C. § 12112; 29 U.S.C.
§ 794; see e.g., Harris v. H & W Contracting
Co., 102 F.3d 516, 519 (11th Cir. 1996).
alleges that (1) she has a "mental impairment"
(ADD) (2) that substantially limits one or more of her
"major life activities" (learning and working), (3)
that she requested specific accommodations be made for her
ADD to enable her to perform the requirements of her job
(informing her supervisors that she had ADD and needed
training and workplace distraction accommodations to be
made), and that (4) her employer took adverse employment
actions against her because of her disability (she was
reprimanded, given negative performance reviews, and
terminated). Doc. 2-12; see 42 U.S.C. § 12102;
29 C.F.R. § 1630; 29 U.S.C. § 794. This is enough
to survive screening, and warrant a response from defendant.
has pled enough facts for this Court to greenlight service of
her Amended Complaint. Hence, the defendant will have to be
served with Fed.R.Civ.P. 4 process. To that end, the Court
will implement the service procedure deployed in Newton
v. Food Lion, LLC, CV415-153 doc. 10 (S.D. Ga. Dec 9,
2015) and Simmons v. Five Star Quality Care, Inc.,
CV414-203, 2014 WL 6603759 at * 4 (S.D. Ga. Nov. 19, 2014),
adopted, 2015 WL 307003 (S.D. Ga. Jan. 23, 2015).
process unfolds in stages. Since the Court has authorized IFP
status, Rule 4 service must be made by the United States
Marshals Service. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(c)(3) (the court
"must" order that service be made by the Marshal
"if the plaintiff is authorized to proceed [IFP]").
But the Marshal needs to know where to serve the defendant,
and that information must come from the plaintiff. Hence,
these preliminary steps are required: The Clerk shall send to
plaintiff a USM 285 form and a summons form. Within
twenty-one days of that mailing, plaintiff must
accurately complete both forms and return them
to the Clerk, who will then forward a copy of each form to
the defendant. The Clerk is instructed to notify the
undersigned if plaintiff fails to comply. Should plaintiff
fail to comply, this action may be dismissed for failure to
obey a Court order. Local Rule 41.1.
that phase of the Rule 4 service cycle be completed, the
Clerk will then prepare a service waiver package for the
defendant. Rule 4(d)(1). That package must include: a Rule 4
Notice of Lawsuit and Request to Waive Service of
Summons (prepared by the Clerk); two copies of the
Waiver of the Service of Summons form (prepared by the
Clerk); an envelope addressed to the Clerk of Court with
adequate first class postage for use by the defendant for
return of the waiver form; one (1) copy of the Complaint; and
one (1) copy of this Order. The Clerk shall retain and docket
the original USM 285 forms and the summons returned by the
plaintiff. See Dunn v. Fed. Express, 2014 WL 1028949
at * 3 (N.D.Ga. Mar. 14, 2104).
the Clerk shall mail the service waiver package to the
defendant. The defendant is under a duty to avoid unnecessary
costs of personally serving the summons. If it fails to
comply with the mailed request for waiver of service, it must
bear the costs of personal service unless good cause can be
shown for failure to return the Waiver of Service form.
Should the defendant fail to waive service within sixty (60)
days following the date the service waiver package was mailed
(the Clerk shall docket that act), the Clerk will prepare and
transmit to the Marshal a service package. The service
package must include the USM 285 form, the summons, and one
(1) copy of the Amended Complaint, plus a copy of this Order.
The Marshal will then promptly serve the defendant. The
executed waiver form or the completed USM 285 form shall be
filed with the Clerk. See Dunn, 2014 WL 1028949 at *
plaintiffs Amended Complaint is served upon the defendant,
she must then serve defendant (through its counsel, if it is
represented) with a copy of every additional pleading or
other document which she files with the Court. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 5. She also shall include with each paper so
filed a certificate stating the date on which she mailed an
accurate copy of that paper to the defendant or its counsel.
This Court will disregard any papers submitted which have not
been properly filed with the Clerk or which do not include a
certificate of service.
Dantzler also must keep the Court and any defendant advised
of her current address at all times during the pendency of
this action. Failure to do so may result in dismissal of her
Complaint. She also must litigate this case, conduct and
respond to any discovery, and comply with both the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure and this ...