United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Cynthia Reed Eddy, United States Magistrate Judge.
pending before the court is a Motion for Alternative Service
on Defendant Oluremi Daramola (ECF No. 65) filed by Plaintiff
Washington County Family Entertainment, LLC
(“Plaintiff” or “WCFE”). For the
reasons set forth, the court will grant the motion.
motion Plaintiff WCFE avers that its efforts to serve named
Defendant Daramola by the standard methods of service
authorized by Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
have failed because Daramola is “intentionally avoiding
service of process.” Daramola is the sole and managing
member of defendant RTD Group LLC (“RTD”). The
Summons was reissued on November 13, 2017 (ECF No. 50).
According to Plaintiff, a private process server and
investigator has attempted four times, on different dates and
at different times, to serve the Summons and Amended
Complaint upon Daramola at his listed residential address
(without success), telephone calls to known legal counsel for
RTD and Daramola have been unanswered and not responded to,
and the private process server and investigator made four
separate attempts to serve Daramola at another residential
address (without success), again at various times and on
various dates. Furthermore Plaintiff's counsel sent a two
emails to known legal counsel for RTD and Daramola attaching
the Summons and Amended Complaint; although delivered, the
emails were not responded to. A copy of one email was
subsequently sent to that same legal counsel via confirmed
facsimile, but to date counsel has not communicated with
Plaintiff's counsel. Moreover, the California Secretary
of State lists “Legalzoom.com” as the registered
agent for RTD, and is thus authorized to accept delivery of
copies of service of process on behalf of RTD. RTD was
successfully served on November 27, 2017 via Legal Zoom.
Nevertheless, Daramola has not been served.
proposes alternate means of service of process upon Daramola
via three different methods, through: (a) an email with
delivery receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org; (b) United States
certified mail and facsimile to Daramola's known counsel,
Mr. Wander, Law Offices of Perry C. Wander, 454 Wilshire
Boulevard, Penthouse, Beverly Hills, California 90212, Fax
No. 310-274-9985; and (c) United States certified mail to
RTD's registered agent, LegalZoom.
federal court, a plaintiff may serve a defendant pursuant to
the law of the state in which the district court sits, or in
which service is to be effected. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(e)(1);
McFadden v. Weiss, No. 13-2914, 2014 WL 5880097, at
*2 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 13, 2014); Calabro v. Leiner, 464
F.Supp.2d 470, 471 (E.D. Pa. 2006). Thus, Plaintiff can
satisfy Rule 4(e)(1) by serving Defendant in a manner
consistent with either Pennsylvania or California law.
Pennsylvania law, a plaintiff may serve an individual
defendant outside the Commonwealth.
(1) by personal service, as provided in Pennsylvania Rule
(2) by mail, as provided in Pennsylvania Rule 403; and
(3) as permitted by the law of the jurisdiction in which
service is to be made.
See PA. R. Civ. P. 404(1)-(3).
however, “service cannot be made” outside the
Commonwealth pursuant to the methods set forth in
Pennsylvania Rule 404(1)-(3), the plaintiff “may move
the court for a special order directing the method of
service.” See PA. R. Civ. P. 430(a) (emphasis
added); Calabro, 464 F.Supp.2d at 472
(“Alternative service is only appropriate when service
‘cannot be made' under the applicable [Pennsylvania
Rule].”). Such a motion for alternative service
“shall be accompanied by an affidavit stating
the nature and extent of the investigation ...