United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Dublin Division
K. EFPS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
an inmate incarcerated at Baldwin State Prison in Hardwick,
Georgia, commenced the above-captioned case pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 concerning events that occurred at Johnson
State Prison (“JSP”). He is proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis (“IFP.”)
Because Plaintiff is proceeding IFP, he is entitled to rely
on the United States Marshal to effect service. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(d); Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(c)(3). Accordingly,
on March 17, 2017, the Court directed the Marshal to effect
service of process on Defendants. (Doc. no. 16.)
of service for Defendants Georgia Department of Corrections
(GDOC), Lorge, and O'Neal were returned, and these
Defendants filed an answer on June 12, 2017. (Doc. nos. 23,
24, 28, 30.) On July 12, 2017, the Marshal's Returns of
Service came back unexecuted for Defendants Scott, Mason,
Poss, and Taylor. (Doc. no. 38.) The forms for Defendants
Mason and Poss indicate they could not be located because
they no longer work at JSP. (Id. at 3, 5.) The forms
for Defendants Scott and Taylor indicate they could not be
correctly identified. (Id. at 1, 10.)
Richardson v. Johnson, 598 F.3d 734 (11th Cir.
2010), the Eleventh Circuit addressed the propriety of
dismissing a defendant in a § 1983 action brought by a
pro se prisoner proceeding IFP, where the defendant
had been dismissed for failing to timely serve the defendant.
In Richardson, a prison guard defendant could not be
served at the prison because he no longer worked there.
Richardson, 598 F.3d at 739-40. In addressing the
prisoner-plaintiff's challenge to the dismissal of this
defendant, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that “[i]t is
unreasonable to expect incarcerated and unrepresented
prisoner-litigants to provide the current addresses of
prison-guard defendants who no longer work at the
prison.” Id. The Eleventh Circuit went on to
conclude that as long as an incarcerated plaintiff provides
enough information to identify a defendant,  the Marshal must
use “reasonable effort” to locate that defendant
and effect service of process before the defendant can be
dismissed. Id. at 740.
Plaintiff has provided identifying information that was
apparently not used in attempting to effect service on these
Defendants. First, although Plaintiff was unable to ascertain
the first names of any unserved defendant, he has provided
sufficient information to readily ascertain the identities of
Defendants Scott and Taylor. As to these Defendants,
Plaintiff states they were both first shift officers assigned
to the isolation/segregation unit at Johnson State Prison on
or between October 27, 2015 and January 6, 2016. (Doc. no.
22, p. 2.) The allegations in the complaint provide specific
dates in which Plaintiff interacted with these Defendants.
(Doc. no. 1, p. 18.) For example, Plaintiff states that on
December 9, 2015, Officer Scott escorted him to the showers,
and on December 11, 2015, Defendant Taylor escorted him to
the showers. (Id. at 12, 18.) The Court is convinced
this information is sufficient to ascertain the identities of
Defendants Scott and Taylor. Thus, reasonable efforts in this
instance would include contacting JSP officials with this
specific information in order to obtain sufficient
information to correctly identify and effect service on
Defendants Scott and Taylor.
Defendants Mason and Poss, the Court understands that prison
officials may not maintain address information for all former
employees. However, given their identities have been
ascertained, the Marshal should be able to utilize its
resources to locate these individuals based on their
identities and fact that they were formerly employed at JSP.
pursuant to Richardson, supra, the Court
DIRECTS the U.S. Marshal to use reasonable efforts to locate
and effect service of process on Defendants Scott, Mason,
Poss, and Taylor. As the ninety days allowed for service have
expired, the Court EXTENDS the deadline for service to
sixty-days from the date of this Order. The Court will not, at
this time, require the Marshal to attempt personal service.
Rather, the Marshal shall attempt service by mail as set
forth in the Court's December March 17, 2017 Order.
(See doc. no. 16.) The Court further DIRECTS the
Marshal to notify the Court in writing within twenty-one days
of the date of this Order as to whether these Defendants have
 The Eleventh Circuit quoted
with approval language from a Seventh Circuit case that
stated, “[T]he prisoner need furnish no more than the
information necessary to identify the defendant.”
Richardson, 598 F.3d at 739 (citing Sellers v.
United States, 902 F.2d 598, 602 (7th Cir. 1990)).
Accordingly, the Court DENIES AS MOOT Plaintiffs motion for a
ninety-day extension of the service ...