United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma Division
James Rose, Plaintiff, Pro se, Vancouver, WA.
For Carolyn W Colvin, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant: Kerry Jane Keefe, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE (SEA), SEATTLE, WA.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PROSECUTION
J. Richard Creatura, United States Magistrate Judge.
This matter has been referred to United States Magistrate Judge J. Richard Creatura pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) (1) and Local Magistrate Judge Rule MJR 4(a) (4), and as authorized by Mathews, Secretary of H.E.W. v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 271-72, 96 S.Ct. 549, 46 L.Ed.2d 483 (1976). This matter is before the Court on this Court's Order to Provide Proof of Service or to Show Cause why this matter should not be dismissed ( see Dkt. 6).
This Court issued an Order to Provide Proof of Service or to Show Cause why this matter should not be dismissed (Dkt. 6) on October 2, 2014, ordering plaintiff to provide proof of service or show cause by November 7, 2014 why this matter should not be dismissed for lack of prosecution. Plaintiff has failed to file anything in response to this Court's Order. For this reason and because there is no evidence in the record that this case has been served properly, this Court recommends that this action be dismissed without prejudice.
Plaintiff filed his Declaration and Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis on January 13, 2014 with a Cover Sheet and Complaint (Dkt. 1). The Order Granting Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis was entered on January 15, 2014 (Dkt. 2) and plaintiff's Complaint was filed on January 15, 2014 (Dkt. 3). A copy of the Order, the filed Complaint and a copy of the Pro Se Instruction Sheet in Civil Cases was mailed to plaintiff on January 15, 2014. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m) requires a defendant to be served within 120 days after a complaint is filed. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(l) requires proof of service to be filed or made to the court. The record does not show that the Complaint has been properly served.
This Court's October 2, 2014 order ( see Dkt. No. 6) informed plaintiff that Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(i) governs service with respect to complaints against the United States and against United States agencies, officers and employees. Plaintiff also was informed that Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m) requires the court to provide notice to plaintiff before a matter may be dismissed for lack of prosecution, and Rule 4(i) (4) requires the court to allow a reasonable time for plaintiff to cure a failure to serve multiple entities, if plaintiff has effected service on either the United States attorney or the Attorney General of the United States.
The Court also informed plaintiff in that Order that regarding social security complaints, " Rule 4(i) requires plaintiff to serve a summons and copy of complaint on the following entities: (a) the United States attorney for the district in which the action is brought or to an assistant United States attorney or clerical employee designated by the United States attorney in writing filed with the clerk of court or the civil process clerk at the office of the United States attorney; (b) the Attorney General of the United States at Washington, District of Columbia; and (c) the officer or agency" (Dkt. No. 6, p. 2; see also Dkt. No. 2, pp. 1-2). Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(i).
Plaintiff was given five weeks to provide proof of service or show cause why this Court should not file a Report and Recommendation to dismiss this action. The Court was not willing to risk dismissal of an action before consideration of the merits when " other less drastic alternatives [we]re  available, " in part, due to plaintiff's pro se status. See Eldridge v. Block, 832 F.2d 1132, 1137 (9th Cir. 1987) ( citing Nevijel v. North Coast Life Ins. Co., 651 F.2d 671, 674 (1981)). The Court provided notice to plaintiff that this matter would be dismissed for lack of prosecution if plaintiff failed to provide proof of service by November 7, 2014 ( see Dkt. 6, p. 3). Although " the court must extend the time for service" if good cause is shown, plaintiff has not filed anything since the Court's Order to Show Cause ( see id .). See Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m).
According to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, if " a defendant is not served within 120 days after the complaint is filed, the court-on motion or on its own after notice to the plaintiff-must dismiss the action without prejudice against that defendant or order that ...