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Chamley v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

May 30, 2017

MARIE C. CHAMLEY, an individual, Plaintiff,
v.
THE UNITED STATES, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ALTERNATE SERVICE OF PROCESS

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion Allowing Alternative Service of Process. Dkt. #10. Plaintiff seeks leave of Court to serve Defendants Obra L. Kent and John Doe Kent by mail, by service of process on the Secretary of State of the State of Washington, and by publication. Id. Plaintiff's Complaint alleges negligence claims against Defendants, arising out of an automobile accident that occurred on Interstate 5 in 2014. Dkt. #1.

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4 (e)(1) provides that “service of an individual . . . may be effected in any judicial district of the United States pursuant to the law of the state in which the district court is located.” Under Washington law,

[s]ervice made in the modes provided in this section is personal service. The summons shall be served by delivering a copy thereof, as follows:
. . .
(16) In all other cases, to the defendant personally, or by leaving a copy of the summons at the house of his or her usual abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then resident therein.
(17) In lieu of service under subsection (16) of this section, where the person cannot with reasonable diligence be served as described, the summons may be served as provided in this subsection, and shall be deemed complete on the tenth day after the required mailing: By leaving a copy at his or her usual mailing address with a person of suitable age and discretion who is a resident, proprietor, or agent thereof, and by thereafter mailing a copy by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the person to be served at his or her usual mailing address. For the purposes of this subsection, “usual mailing address” does not include a United States postal service post office box or the person's place of employment.

RCW 4.28.080.

         Further,

[w]hen the defendant cannot be found within the state, and upon the filing of an affidavit of the plaintiff, his or her agent, or attorney, with the clerk of the court, stating that he or she believes that the defendant is not a resident of the state, or cannot be found therein, and that he or she has deposited a copy of the summons (substantially in the form prescribed in RCW 4.28.110) and complaint in the post office, directed to the defendant at his or her place of residence, unless it is stated in the affidavit that such residence is not known to the affiant, and stating the existence of one of the cases hereinafter specified, the service may be made by publication of the summons, by the plaintiff or his or her attorney in any of the following cases: . . .
(2) When the defendant, being a resident of this state, has departed therefrom with intent to defraud his or her creditors, or to avoid the service of a summons, or keeps himself or herself concealed therein with like intent; . . . .

RCW 4.28.100.

         Under RCW 4.28.110,

[t]he publication shall be made in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the action is brought once a week for six consecutive weeks: PROVIDED, That publication of summons shall not be made until after the filing of the complaint, and the service of the summons shall be deemed complete at the expiration of the time prescribed . The summons must be subscribed by the plaintiff or his or her attorney or attorneys. The summons shall contain the date of the first publication, and shall require the defendant or defendants upon whom service by publication is desired, to appear and answer the complaint ...

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