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Steve McCurry Studios, LLC v. Web2Web Marketing, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

May 9, 2014

STEVE McCURRY STUDIOS, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
WEB2WEB MARKETING, INC., d/b/a ACTEVA.COM, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SERVICE BY ALTERNATIVE MEANS; AND VACATING HEARING

WILLIAM ALSUP, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

This action concerns a foreign default judgment now registered for enforcement in the Northern District of California. Plaintiff moves for service of subpoenas and all future documents in this action by e-mail, and if necessary, by publication. To the extent stated, the motion is GRANTED. The hearing set for May 22, 2014, is VACATED.

STATEMENT

In October 2013, plaintiff Steve McCurry Studios, LLC obtained a default judgment in the District of Delaware against defendant Web2Web Marketing, Inc. Among other items, the default judgment awarded plaintiff compensatory damages and an accounting, while also permitting plaintiff "to move for a reassessment" of the damages based "on a showing of good cause" (Dkt. No. 1). To date, defendant has not appeared in this action.

Plaintiff has since registered the default judgment in the Northern District of California so that it could enforce the judgment against defendant's assets in this district. In that connection, plaintiff mailed and e-mailed deposition notices and requests for document production to defendant's president and CEO, Pankaj Gupta. Despite several informal agreements with plaintiff's counsel, Gupta neither attended deposition nor produced documents.

As such, plaintiff moved to compel Gupta's attendance at deposition and document production. An order dated March 18, 2014, denied the motion, "having been premised on Rule 5 methods of notice" (Dkt. No. 18). The order then stated:

[T]his order is without prejudice to an application for a form of substitute service, such as by publication and/or e-mail, upon a showing of evasion of Rule 4 service.

Now, plaintiff moves to serve defendant and Gupta - either by e-mail, and if necessary, by publication - with subpoenas to compel testimony and document production. Plaintiff also requests that these alternative methods of service apply to all future documents to be served on defendant and Gupta in this action. This comes after plaintiff (unsuccessfully) attempted to personally serve subpoenas on defendant and Gupta, as described below. Although a copy of this motion was mailed to defendant's corporate address in Delaware as well as Gupta's last-known address, no opposition has been received.

ANALYSIS

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(e)(1) provides the applicable authority:

Serving an Individual Within a Judicial District of the United States. Unless federal law provides otherwise, an individual - other than a minor, an incompetent person, or a person whose waiver has been filed - may be served in a judicial district of the United States by:
(1) following state law for serving a summons in an action brought in courts of general jurisdiction in the state where the district court is ...

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