United States District Court, District of Columbia
CARL L. PARKER, Individually and as Administrator of the Estate of Gary L. Parker Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE et al . Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. Friedman United States District Judge
October 6, 2016, Judge W. Louis Sands of the United States
District Court for the Middle District of Georgia transferred
this case to the undersigned because the plaintiff's
amended complaint [Dkt. 16] alleges violations of the Consent
Decree that this Court approved in Pigford v.
Vilsack, No. 97-1978, and seeks to enforce that Consent
Decree. See Order (Oct. 6, 2016) [Dkt. 23].
Court recently issued an Opinion addressing various motions
to enforce the Pigford consent decree, Pigford
v. Vilsack, No. 97-1978, 2016 WL 4921378 (D.D.C. Sept.
15, 2016), including claims by plaintiff “on behalf of
the Estate of Robert J. Parker.” Id. at *1, 6.
The Court's review of the plaintiff's amended
complaint suggests that he asserts separate claims here, both
on his own behalf and on behalf of the estate of Gary L.
Parker. See Am. Compl. at 4-6 (July 8, 2016) [Dkt.
appears that plaintiff has not yet served his amended
complaint upon the defendants in this case. Judge Sands's
transfer order found that “[n]o valid summons has been
issued as to any of the defendants remaining in this case,
” but concluded that “given [the Court's] own
statements that may have been misinterpreted by Parker, it
would not be appropriate to dismiss the case” for lack
of service “at this juncture.” Order at 3 [Dkt.
23]. At the time of Judge Sands's transfer order on
October 6, 2016, the USDA maintained that it “has never
been served in this case, and  assumed the case would be
dismissed on that basis.” Id. at 7. Before the
Court proceeds in this case, plaintiff must serve all
defendants in a manner that complies with Rule 4 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Civil Rule 5.3.
Because the plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the
Court will append to this Memorandum Opinion and Order (1) a
full-text copy of Rule 4 as Appendix A, and (2) a full text
copy of Local Civil Rule 5.3 as Appendix B.
light of the foregoing, it is hereby
that on or before December 16, 2016 plaintiff file proof on
the public docket that he has served either the complaint
[Dkt. 1] or the amended complaint [Dkt. 16] upon any
remaining defendants in a manner that complies with Rule 4 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Summons
Contents. A summons must:
name the court and the parties;
directed to the defendant;
state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney
or-if unrepresented-of the plaintiff;
state the time within which the defendant must appear and
notify the defendant that a failure to appear and defend will
result in a default judgment against the defendant for the
relief demanded in the complaint;
signed by the clerk; and
bear the court's seal.
Amendments. The court may permit a summons to be
Issuance. On or after filing the complaint, the plaintiff may
present a summons to the clerk for signature and seal. If the
summons is properly completed, the clerk must sign, seal, and
issue it to the plaintiff for service on the defendant. A
summons-or a copy of a summons that is addressed to multiple
defendants-must be issued for each defendant to be served.
In General. A summons must be served with a copy of
the complaint. The plaintiff is responsible for having the
summons and complaint served within the time allowed by
Rule 4(m) and must furnish the necessary copies to
the person who makes service.
By Whom. Any person who is at least 18 years old and
not a party may serve a summons and complaint.
By a Marshal or Someone Specially Appointed. At the
plaintiff's request, the court may order that service be
made by a United States marshal or deputy marshal or by a
person specially appointed by the court. The court must so
order if the plaintiff is authorized to proceed in forma
pauperis under 28 U.S.C. §1915 or as a seaman
under 28 U.S.C. Â§1916.
Requesting a Waiver. An individual, corporation, or
association that is subject to service under Rule
4(e), (f), or (h) has a duty to avoid
unnecessary expenses of serving the summons. The plaintiff
may notify such a defendant that an action has been commenced
and request that the defendant waive service of a summons.
The notice and request must:
in writing and be addressed: (i) to the individual defendant;
for a defendant subject to service under Rule 4(h),
to an officer, a managing or general agent, or any other
agent authorized by ...