United States District Court, E.D. Washington
ORDER GRANTING GENERAL MOTORS LLC’S MOTION TO
O. RICE, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
THE COURT is General Motors LLC’s Motion to Substitute
Party (ECF No. 38). This matter was submitted for
consideration without oral argument. The Court has reviewed
the record and files herein, and is fully informed. Plaintiff
has not timely responded to the Motion. There being no reason
for any further delay, the Court considers the Motion at this
time. For the reasons discussed below, General Motors
LLC’s Motion to Substitute Party (ECF No. 38) is
case arises out of Plaintiff Multistar Industries’
purchase of a 2016 Cadillac CTS-V from Defendant BMW of Ocala
and the vehicle’s breakdown shortly thereafter.
filed the original complaint in state court on May 9, 2019.
ECF No. 1-1. Plaintiff purported to serve “General
Motors AKA General Motors, LLC and Cadillac Motors” on
May 16, 2019. ECF No. 35-1 at 2. After the case was removed
to federal court, Plaintiff filed the amended complaint on
June 20, 2019. ECF No. 13.
amended complaint, Plaintiff asserted claims against Gettel
Ocala, d/b/a/ BMW of Ocala; Bobby Watts; Darrin Taylor; Love
Chevrolet, Inc.; General Motors Corporation; Cadillac Motors,
a division of General Motors Corp.; McCurley Integrity
Cadillac; Does I-X; and ABC Corporations or LLCs I-V. ECF No.
13. The Court dismissed Plaintiff’s claims against
Gettel Ocala, Bobby Watts, Darrin Taylor, Love Chevrolet, and
McCurley Integrity Cadillac and terminated those defendants
from this action. ECF No. 37.
August 13, 2019, Plaintiff filed proof of service on
“General Motors AKA General Motors, LLC and Cadillac
Motors” and filed a Notice of Intent to Move for Entry
of Default against “General Motors Corporation, ”
“General Motors, LLC, ” and “Cadillac
Motors, a division of General Motors.” ECF Nos. 34; 35
at 1. On August 28, 2019, General Motors LLC made a special
appearance to move this court to order Plaintiff to amend its
complaint to remove defendants “General Motors
Corporation” and “Cadillac Motors” and to
substitute “General Motors LLC” as a defendant in
their place. ECF No. 38 at 1.
defendant corporation, partnership, or association must be
served in accordance with state or federal law. Fed.R.Civ.P.
4(h). A summons and a copy of the complaint must be served on
each defendant. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(b)-(c).
Notice of Intent to Seek Entry of Default represents that it
served “General Motors Corp a/k/a General Motors,
LLC” on May 16, 2019. ECF No. 35-1 at 2. However, as
General Motors LLC notes, General Motors LLC and General
Motors Corporation are two separate and distinct legal
Motors Corporation was previously registered as a Delaware
corporation, but on July 10, 2009, it changed its name to
Motors Liquidation Company. ECF No. 38-1 at 6. The amended
complaint alleges General Motors Corporation is “a
multinational corporation headquartered in Detroit,
Michigan” and that Cadillac Motors is a division of
General Motors Corporation. ECF No. 13 at 3, ¶ 9.
However, there is no legal entity named “General Motors
Corporation” or “Cadillac Motors”
registered to do business in Michigan. ECF No. 38 at 2-3.
Because these entities do not exist, the Court exercises its
power pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 21 to terminate them as
defendants in this matter.
contrast, General Motors LLC is a Delaware LLC with its
principal place of business in Michigan. ECF No. 38-1 at 4.
General Motors LLC is registered to conduct business in
Washington and has a registered agent in Washington. ECF No.
38-1 at 4-5. Plaintiff’s affidavit of service indicates
the summons and complaint were served at an address that
corresponds with the address of General Motors LLC’s
registered agent in Michigan. Compare ECF No. 35-1
at 2 with ECF No. 38-1 at 8. However, neither the
original nor the amended complaint names General Motors LLC
as a defendant. ECF No. 13. Accordingly, Plaintiff has not
properly served General Motors LLC.
amended complaint, Plaintiff also names as Defendants
“Does I-X, and ABC Corporations or LLCs I-V.” ECF
No. 13 at 1, 3-4. Other than using a pseudonym to name these
Defendants, Plaintiff recites no substantive allegations
against them. See ECF No. 13. Local Rule 10 provides that the
use of “John Doe” pleading is disfavored, citing
Gillespie v. Civiletti, 692 F.2d 637, 642 (9th Cir.
1980). LCivR 10(a)(3). Moreover, the Local Rule emphasizes
that the plaintiff must sufficiently allege the actions of
each unknown defendant for which the plaintiff complains.
Id. Here, there are no facts alleged against these
John Doe entities. Accordingly, Plaintiff has not properly
named “John Doe” defendants and they are
dismissed, with leave to amend.