United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
HENRY A. UMOUYO, Plaintiff,
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.; CARRINGTON MORTGAGE SERVICES, LLC; AND ANY UNKNOWN HEIRS, DEVISEES, GRANTEES, CREDITORS, AND OTHER UNKNOWN PERSONS OR UNKNOWN SPOUSES CLAIMING BY, THROUGH AND UNDER BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., Defendants.
HONORABLE RICHARD A. JONES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's motion for
summary judgment. Dkt. # 22. Defendant Carrington Mortgage
LLC (“Carrington”) opposes the motion. Dkt. # 25.
For the reasons below, the Court TERMINATES
Plaintiff's motion and allows him to refile after he
properly serves Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”).
the Court can rule on the merits of Plaintiff's motion
for summary judgment, it must address the issue of service.
Carrington has maintained throughout the litigation that
Plaintiff never properly served BANA. BANA has not appeared
in this matter.
issue of service arose in Carrington's opposition to
Plaintiff's motion to remand. Dkt. ## 10, 11. In its
response, Carrington argued that it did not need BANA's
consent to remove the matter because BANA was never properly
served with the summons and complaint. Dkt. # 11 at 1. But
even if service was proper, Carrington argued that BANA,
“who is also represented by the below-signed counsel
for Carrington, properly consented to removal.”
Id. at 2. The Court relied on this assertion when it
denied Plaintiff's motion to remand. Dkt. # 17 at 5.
2, 2017, the Court ordered Plaintiff to show cause why BANA
should not be dismissed due to improper service. Plaintiff
maintained that he properly served BANA. Plaintiff attached
documents showing that he served BANA and Carrington the same
way-through priority mail. Dkt. ## 21-1, 21-2, 21-3.
Plaintiff stated that he also instructed Carrington to
deliver the summons and complaint to BANA. Dkt. # 21 at 3.
Plaintiff argued that Carrington is BANA's agent, and
therefore service was proper under Federal Rule 4(h)(1)(B).
Id. at 3.
the Federal Rules, Plaintiff has not properly served BANA.
Plaintiff conflated Carrington's position as a loan
servicer with BANA's registered agent for service of
process. These entities are not the same, and Plaintiff
cannot show that Carrington has been authorized to accept
service of behalf of BANA.
counsel represented that it also represents BANA. However,
“[f]or an attorney to be considered an agent for
process, he or she must have been appointed for that precise
task.” Ellis v. Johnston, No.
CV07-508-PHX-MHM, 2008 WL 508642, at *1 (D. Ariz. Feb. 21,
2008). Plaintiff has not shown that Carrington's counsel
has been authorized to accept service on behalf of BANA.
to preserve the record, the Court ORDERS Plaintiff to
properly serve BANA within thirty (30) days from the date of
this Order. If Plaintiff chooses to serve BANA
pursuant to Federal Rule 4(h)(1)(B), he is reminded that
priority mail is not sufficient.
Court is weary of counsel for Carrington's
representations to the Court and to Plaintiff. It is not hard
to understand how these representations led pro se Plaintiff
astray, and how these representations have potentially
derailed litigation and wasted judicial resources.
Carrington's counsel has admitted that it also represents
BANA. In light of this representation-and considering the
eventuality of service in this matter-the parties may
contemplate agreeing to service and filing a stipulation with
foregoing reasons, the Court TERMINATES the
pending motion for summary judgment, which Plaintiff may
refile after he properly serves BANA. Dkt. # 22. The Court
ORDERS Plaintiff to serve BANA within thirty
(30) days from the date of this order pursuant to Federal
Rule 4(h). Alternatively, the parties may stipulate to
service and file such a stipulation with the Court.
 The Court encourages Plaintiff to
review Federal Rule 4 as well as this district's pro se
manual, which can be found at: