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Heather Esget v. Tcm Financial Services LLC; and Does 1 To 100

September 13, 2011

HEATHER ESGET, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TCM FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC; AND DOES 1 TO 100, INCLUSIVE,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

(Document 10)

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Pending before this Court is Plaintiff Heather Esget ("Plaintiff")'s Motion to Enter Default Judgment against Defendant TCM Financial Services LLC in the amount of $18,630.47. (Doc. 10.) *fn1 For the reasons that follow, this Court DENIES Plaintiff's motion without prejudice.

RELEVANT PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On January 12, 2011, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendant asserting violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. (Doc. 1.) A summons was issued to Defendant that same date. (Doc. 4.)

On April 13, 2011, Plaintiff filed a Declaration of Service regarding service of the summons and complaint and related documents. More particularly, the documentation indicates that process server Livingston A. Beckford of DDS Legal Support served Javier Jimenez, a "principal" of TCM Financial Services LLC, by way of substitute service on "RICHARD (DOE)," the person apparently in charge, at 5900 S. Eastern Avenue in Commerce, California, at 3:40 p.m. on March 22, 2011. Richard Doe was further described as a Caucasian male, forty-five years old, 185 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. (Doc. 6 at 1.) The following day, on March 23, 2011, Pam Miller of DDS Legal Support served the same documents via United States Mail to "Javier Jimenez, Principal, 5900 S. Eastern Ave., Commerce, CA 900401." (Doc. 6 at 2.)

On May 5, 2011, the Clerk of the Court entered default against Defendant TCM Financial Services LLC, following Plaintiff's request. ( See Docs. 7-8.)

On August 17, 2011, Plaintiff filed the instant motion with this Court. (Doc. 10.)

DISCUSSION

In preparation for the hearing on the motion, this Court became concerned about the service of process employed in this action. "[A] court must first assess the adequacy of the service of process on the party against whom default judgment is requested." Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local Union No. 3 v. Palomino , 2010 WL 2219595 at * 2 (N.D. Cal. June 2, 2010) (citations omitted). Here, it has come to the Court's attention that the address used to effect service may be incomplete. Further, the address used may not be the entity's principal place of business address.

Rule 4(h)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides as follows: Unless federal law provides otherwise or the defendant's waiver has been filed, a domestic or foreign corporation, or a partnership or other unincorporated association that is subject to suit under a common name, must be served:

(1) in a judicial district of the United States:

(A) in the manner prescribed by Rule 4(e)(1) for servicing an individual; or (B) be delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an officer, a managing or general agent, or any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process and - if the agent is one authorized by statute and the statute so requires - by also mailing a copy of each to the defendant; or

(2) at a place not within any judicial district of the United States, in any manner prescribed by Rule 4(f) for serving an individual, except ...


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