United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
Cynthia Reed Eddy Chief Magistrate Judge
BISSOON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case has been referred to Chief United States Magistrate
Judge Cynthia Reed Eddy for pretrial proceedings in
accordance with the Magistrates Act, 28 U.S.C. §§
636(b)(1)(A) and (B), and Local Rule of Civil Procedure 72.
8, 2019, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and
Recommendation (Doc. 56) (the “Report”). The
Report recommended that Plaintiff Rayco Saunders's
(“Plaintiff's”) Motion for Default Judgment
(Doc. 49) be granted and that default judgment be entered
against Defendant Darryl Robinson (“Defendant
Robinson”) in the amount of $5, 001.00.
reasons that follow, the Court will reject the Report, vacate
its prior order dismissing GFS as a party to this suit (Doc.
46) and remand this matter to the Magistrate Judge for
further proceedings consistent with this order.
Report recounted Plaintiff's testimony at his default
judgment hearing, found that Plaintiff had shown that
Defendant Robinson, the President of Defendant GFS
Entertainment Group, LLC (“GFS”), committed the
District of Columbia tort of intentional interference with
contractual or business relations as to Plaintiff's
contract with GFS,  and found that Plaintiff failed to allege
a valid contract between himself and Defendant Robinson such
that Defendant Robinson could be liable for its breach.
(Report at 2-4.)
the amount of damages, the Report found that Plaintiff's
testimony and allegations established that he lost the $5,
000 benefit he was promised under his bout contract with GFS,
but that his alleged consequential damages and other loses
were too speculative to award based on the record evidence
and warranted only a nominal award of an additional $1.
(Id. at 5.)
25, 2019, Plaintiff filed timely objections to the Report.
(“Objections, ” Doc. 57.) Beyond contesting the amount
of damages, Plaintiff's core objection concerns service
of process on the Defendants who were dismissed from this
suit for lack of service. (Objections at ¶¶ 1-8.)
Court has conducted a de novo review of the
pleadings and documents in this case, including
Plaintiff's Objections, together with the Report.
the Court agrees with the Report's conclusions regarding
the amount of damages, the Court's review of the record
concerning service of process leads the Court to conclude
that its prior order dismissing GFS from this suit (Doc. 46)
was in error, as GFS was properly served through its officer,
Defendant Robinson. Specifically, the Receipt for U.S.
Marshal's Service on Defendant Robinson (Doc. 42),
together with the allegations in the Amended Complaint (Doc.
39 at ¶ 9), establish that Defendant Robinson is the
President of GFS and that he was served in both his
individual capacity and in his capacity as GFS President. The
Court will correct this oversight pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 60(a).
properly served GFS. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 4(h)(1)(B), service of process may be made on a
corporation or similar entity by delivering a copy of the
summons and complaint to “an officer” of the
organization. Id. The president of a corporation, as
an officer, is an appropriate recipient for service of
process on behalf of the corporation under Rule 4(h)(1)(B).
E.g., Chan v. Soc'y Expeditions, Inc.,
39 F.3d 1398, 1404 (9th Cir. 1994) (personal service on the
president of a corporation is sufficient for service on the
corporation); Teamsters Pension Fund of Phila. &
Vicinity v. Am. Helper, Inc., 2011 WL 4729023, at *2
(D.N.J. Oct. 5, 2011) (following motion for default judgment
against a corporation, the court found that personal service
on the president was sufficient for service on the
corporation). The Court thus finds that the Receipt for U.S.
Marshal's Service on Defendant Robinson, taken together
with the allegations in the Amended Complaint, are sufficient
to demonstrate service on GFS.
the new posture of this case occasioned by this finding, the
Court recognizes that additional proceedings and deadlines
may be necessary to provide GFS with an appropriate
opportunity to respond to the Amended Complaint. To the
extent that GFS does not respond in the time allotted by the
Magistrate Judge, Plaintiff may file a motion for default and
default judgment against GFS, in accordance with the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. Should such a motion for default
and default judgment against GFS be filed, the Magistrate
Judge shall make a determination as to whether any additional
evidence is required for ...