United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah
LEONIA N. SANDERS, et al., PLAINTIFFS
CITY OF PEMBROKE, et al., DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. Russell, Senior Judge.
matter comes before the Court on several motions. First,
Plaintiff Leonia Sanders, individually and as the guardian of
Ronald Sanders, filed three motions for entry of default: one
against Heather Holland, [R. 12], another against Lindee
Monroe, [R. 13], and a third against Rebecca Perry, [R. 14].
In response, Holland, Monroe, and Perry,
(“Defendants”), filed a Joint Motion to Quash
Defective Service of Process, or in the alternative, Joint
Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Request for Entries
of Default Judgment. [R. 18; 19.] Sanders replied. [R. 27.]
Second, Sanders filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. [R. 17.]
Defendants responded, [R. 29], and Sanders replied, [R. 36].
Third, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss, [R. 28]. Fourth,
Defendants filed a Motion to Strike Amended Complaint. [R.
43.] On the same day, Sanders filed a Motion for Leave to
File Amended Complaint or, in the Alternative, Motion for
Leave for Additional Time to Respond to the Motion to
Dismiss. [R. 44.] Defendants responded, [R. 47], and Sanders
replied, [R. 48]. In addition to the motions above, Sanders
filed a Motion to Strike Impertinent Material Stated in Entry
of Appearance, [R. 15], and a Motion to Strike Scandalous
Material Stated in the Response, [R. 30]. This matter is ripe
reasons stated herein, Defendants' Joint Motion to Quash,
[R. 18], and Renewed Joint Motion to Quash, [R. 23], are
GRANTED and Sanders's three motions for
entry of default, [R. 12, 13, 14], are all
DENIED; Sanders's Motion for Summary
Judgment, [R. 17], is DENIED;
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, [R. 28], is
DENIED; Sanders's Motion for Leave to
File Amended Complaint, [R. 44], is GRANTED;
Defendants' Motion to Strike Amended Complaint, [R. 43],
is DENIED; Sanders's Motion to Strike
Impertinent Material, [R. 15], is GRANTED;
and Sanders's Motion to Strike Scandalous Material is
DENIED, [R. 30].
February 13, 2019, Sanders filed a Complaint against several
defendants, [R. 1], and on March 20, 2019, Sanders filed
motions for Entry of Default against three specific
defendants listed in the original Complaint: Heather Holland,
[R. 12], Lindee Monroe, [R. 13], and Rebecca Perry, [R. 14].
The next day, counsel for Holland, Monroe, and Perry
(“Defendants”), filed an Entry of Appearance,
“[w]ithout waiving sufficiency of service of process on
their clients . . . .” [R. 11.] On March 22, 2019,
Defendants filed a Joint Motion to Quash Defective Service of
Process, or in the alternative, Joint Response in Opposition
to Plaintiff's Request for Entries of Default Judgment.
[R. 18; 19.] That same day, Sanders filed a Motion for
Summary Judgment. [R. 17.]
March 25, 2019, Sanders filed three separate U.S. Postal
Service certified mail receipts: one for Heather Holland, [R.
20, ] another for Lindee Monroe, [R. 21], and a third for
Rebecca Perry, [R. 22]. Each receipt was dated as being
delivered on February 21, 2019. However, the unknown person
that received each piece of mail signed upon delivery in an
illegible manner. Both parties appear to agree that neither
Holland, Monroe, nor Perry signed the receipts. [R. 26 at 5;
R. 29 at 2.] However, disagreement remains over whether the
person that signed these receipts was acting as an agent on
behalf of Defendants. In short, the main issue threaded
through all of these motions is the question of whether
Defendants were served properly.
the motions mentioned above, Defendants also asserted in a
Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim that
defendants Lincoln Foster and Maureen Leamy are entitled to
absolute prosecutorial immunity as Assistant County Attorneys
in Christian County, Kentucky. [R. 28 at 2.] About a month
after that, Defendants filed a Motion to Strike the Amended
Complaint, [R. 43]. In what appears to be a response to both
of these motions, Sanders filed a motion entitled
“Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint as to
Defendants, Frye, Burgess, Foster, Leamy, Holland, Monroe,
and Perry, Or, in the Alternative, Motion for Leave for
Additional Time to Respond to the Motion to Dismiss by Foster
and Leamy.” [R. 44.]
service of process is a threshold issue, the Court will first
address Defendants' Motion to Quash Service of Process,
followed by Sanders's Motion for Summary Judgment and
other additional motions.
Defendants' Motion to Quash Service of Process or Dismiss
for Failure to Serve
a federal court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a
defendant, the procedural requirement of service of summons
must be satisfied.” Omni Capital Intern., Ltd. v.
Rudolf Wolff & Co., Ltd., 484 U.S. 97, 104 (1987).
The plaintiff bears the burden of perfecting service of
process and showing that proper service was made. Fed. R. Civ
Pro. 4(c)(1); Byrd v. Stone, 94 F.3d 217, 219 (6th
Cir.1996). “[A]ctual knowledge and lack of prejudice
cannot take the place of legally sufficient service.”
LSJ Inv. Co., Inc. v. O.L.D., Inc., 167 F.3d 320,
324 (6th Cir. 1999); see also Bridgeport Music, Inc. v.
Rhyme Syndicate Music, 376 F.3d 615, 623 (6th Cir.
of process is governed by Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. Rule 4(e) provides the methods by which an
individual may be properly served:
Unless federal law provides otherwise, an individual-other
than a minor, 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 located or where service is made; or
(2) doing any of the following:
(A) delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to
the individual personally;
(B) leaving a copy of each at the individual's dwelling
or usual place of abode with someone of suitable age and
discretion who resides there; or
(C) delivering a copy of each to an agent authorized by
appointment or by law to receive service of process.
Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 4(e).
to Rule 4(e)(1), both parties acknowledge that service was
attempted according to Kentucky state law. [R. 18 at 5; R. 26
at 3.] The methods of proving service in Kentucky are
explained in Kentucky Civil ...