The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Anthony J. Battaglia U.S. Magistrate Judge United States District Court
ORDER OF CONFIDENTIALITY DIRECTING ATTORNEY GENERAL TO PROVIDE INFORMATION AS TO DEFENDANT FRIAS' ADDRESS TO THE U.S. MARSHAL, AND DIRECTING THE U.S. MARSHAL TO EFFECT SERVICE OF PROCESS PURSUANT TO FED. R. CIV. P. 4 FOR SERVICE OF THE COMPLAINT [Doc. No. 17.]
The Plaintiff, currently an inmate at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, California, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed the instant action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, on the basis of alleged actions by certain prison staff at Calipatria State Prison ("Calipatria") where Plaintiff was formerly incarcerated. On November 26, 2007, Plaintiff filed a motion requesting permission to reserve Defendant J. Frias. On September 24, 2007, the Process Receipt and Return was returned unexecuted as to J. Frias indicating that he had transferred. Plaintiff heard from other inmates that Frias may have been transferred to Centinela State Prison but he is not sure if that is true. Plaintiff seeks to locate Defendant Frias' address in order to serve the First Amended Complaint.
"[A]n incarcerated pro se plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis is entitled to rely on the U.S. Marshal for service of the summons and complaint, and, having provided the necessary information to help effectuate service, plaintiff should not be penalized by having his or her action dismissed for failure to effect service. . ." Puett v. Blandford, 912 F.2d 270, 275 (9th Cir. 1990). "So long as the prisoner has furnished the information necessary to identify the defendant, the marshal's failure to effect service of process is automatically good cause within the meaning of Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(j)." Walker v. Sumner, 14 F.3d 1415, 1422 (9th Cir. 1994).
Here, Plaintiff has identified the Defendant. As long as the privacy of Defendant's forwarding address can be preserved, Plaintiff is entitled to be able to serve his First Amended Complaint. Accordingly, the Court ORDERS the Attorney General assigned to this case to provide the forwarding address for Defendant J. Frias to the U.S. Marshal in a confidential memorandum indicating that the subpoena is to be delivered to that address. The Attorney General shall provide the U.S. Marshal with any such information on or before June 13, 2008.
After receipt of any available address from the Attorney General, the Court ORDERS the U.S. Marshal to serve a copy of the First Amended Complaint and summons upon Defendant Frias. All costs of service shall be advanced by the United States. The Clerk of the Court, the Attorney General, and the Office of the U.S. Marshal are HEREBY ORDERED to keep the address of Defendant Frias strictly confidential. The address of Defendant Frias SHALL NOT appear on any 285 form, SHALL NOT be provided to Plaintiff, and SHALL NOT be made part of the Court record.
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