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Carolyn Thompson, et al v. Panama-Buena Vista Union

June 1, 2012

CAROLYN THOMPSON, ET AL. ,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
PANAMA-BUENA VISTA UNION
SCHOOL DISTRICT, ET AL. , DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER REGARDING PLAINTIFFS' COUNSEL'S RESPONSE TO ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

ORDER DISCHARGING ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

Relevant Procedural Background

On January 17, 2012, Plaintiffs Carolyn Thompson, R.T., a minor by and through his next friend Carolyn Thompson, and L.S., and A.S., R.S. and D.S., minors by and through their next friend L.S., individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a complaint against Defendants Panama Buena Vista Union School District, the Board of Education as trustees, Rita Perucci, as an individual and in her official capacity, Bryan Eakin, as an individual and in his official capacity, and Does 1 through 100, asserting seven separate claims for relief, including numerous civil rights violations, as well as claims of negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress. (Doc. 1.)

On January 18, 2012, this Court granted Plaintiffs' applications to proceed in forma pauperis, and also issued summonses and new case documents. ( See Docs. 4-6.)

On May 17, 2012, this Court issued an Order to Show Cause for Plaintiffs' failure to serve the summons and complaint and to do so within 120 days in compliance with Rule 4(m) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Further, Plaintiffs were to show cause in writing no later than May 31, 2012, for the aforementioned failures. (Doc. 10.)

On May 23, 2012, Plaintiffs Carolyn Thompson and L.S. filed a written response to the order to show cause. (Doc. 12.)

On May 24, 2012, Plaintiffs' counsel, Nicole Hodge Amey, filed a response to the order to show cause. (Doc. 13.)

DISCUSSION

Ms. Amey's response raises a number of issues to which the Court will respond separately.

Service by the United States Marshal

Ms. Amey indicated that because Plaintiffs are proceeding in forma pauperis, she "expected that the U.S. Marshall [ sic ] would effect service upon defendants," and further, that she was not aware "that such service would not be made." (Doc. 13 at 2.)

On January 18, 2012, one day after the complaint was filed on Plaintiffs' behalf, the Clerk's Office issued new case documents, including, among other documents, Instructions for Completing Form USM-285 , Notice of Submission of Documents , and Process Receipt and Return (commonly referred to as the USM-285) forms. ( See Docs. 6-4 & 6-5.)

Despite receiving the necessary forms and instructions for completing those forms more than four months ago, Ms. Amey has not completed the forms nor returned them to the Clerk's Office. It is counsel's obligation to complete the necessary forms on behalf of her clients to ensure service by the U.S. Marshal; until the forms are provided by the party seeking to serve the summons and complaint, neither the Court nor the Clerk's Office can proceed. See Local Rule 210(d); see also Local Rule 110 ("Failure of ...


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