United States District Court, N.D. California
February 18, 2004.
SARAH RAMIREZ, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: VAUGHN WALKER, District Judge
FRCP 4(m) provides that, if service of the summons and complaint is not
made upon defendant within 120 days after the filing of the complaint,
the court may dismiss the case on its own initiative, provided that
notice has been given to plaintiff. Plaintiff filed the complaint in this
case on February 28, 2003. Doc #1. On December 2, 2003, the court
conducted a case management conference (CMC) in this case. Doc #17. At
that CMC, the court informed plaintiff that she was required to serve the
summons and complaint on the defendant and file proof of service with the
court and that such service was long overdue. The court reset the initial
CMC for February 17, 2004.
As of February 18, 2004, plaintiff has failed to provide the court with
proof of service of the summons and complaint upon defendant. The 120-day
period prescribed by Rule 4(m) expired almost eight months ago, and the
court plainly advised plaintiff at the December 2 CMC of her duties under
Rule 4(m). Thus, dismissal of this case is proper. Furthermore, plaintiff
failed to appear for the February 17 CMC due, she states in a
communication received on that date, to having missed her bus.
It is true that plaintiff is proceeding pro se in this matter. But
"[p]laintiff should be aware that although [s]he is representing
[her]self in this action, [s]he is nevertheless obligated to follow the
same rules as represented parties." See King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567
(9th Cir 1987). Lack of awareness of the applicable rules and procedures
is no excuse for failure to comply with those rules. See Swimmer v. IRS,
811 F.2d 1343, 1344 (9th Cir 1987). Even were lack of awareness an
excuse, the court explicitly directed plaintiff at the December 2 CMC to
serve the summons and complaint, and the circumstances of plaintiff's
non-appearance on February 17 are of no matter because of her failure to
Accordingly, the court DISMISSES this case without
prejudice. The clerk is directed to close the file and terminate all
IT IS SO ORDERED.
U.S. District Court
Northern District of California
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The following transaction was received from vrwlc2, COURT STAFF on
2/18/2004 at 11:58 AM PST
Case Name: Ramirez v. United States of America
Case Number: 3:03-cv-930
WARNING: CASE CLOSED on 02/18/2004
Document Number: 21
ORDER DISMISSING CASE for failure to serve the summons and complaint
upon defendant. Signed by Judge Walker on 2/18/04. (vrwlc2, COURT STAFF)
(Filed on 2/18/2004)
The following documents) are associated with this transaction:
Document description: Main Document
Original filename: N:\COURTNEY\Civil\Ramirez v. United States
Electronic document Stamp:
[STAMP CANDStamp_ID=977336130 [Date=2/18/2004] [FileNumber= 1094482-0]
97789711C9 df82a02f5be40d2a8d3f3 951b 72291690647bb1fa0a198 dac]]
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