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Mendoza-Jimenes v. Bonneville County

United States District Court, D. Idaho

August 7, 2018

MARIA E. MENDOZA-JIMENES, Plaintiff,
v.
BONNEVILLE COUNTY, BONNEVILLE COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS OFFICE, DANIEL R. CLARK, in his personal and official capacity, MICHAEL F. WINCHESTER, in his personal and official capacity, BONNEVILLE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, PAUL J. WILDE, in his personal and official capacity, KOREY EDWARD PAYNE, in his personal and official capacity, KOHL'S DEPARTMENT STORES, INC., SHELLIE COUGHLAN, and JOHN DOES I-XII, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          DAVID C. NYE, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Pending before the Court is Defendants Bonneville County, Bonneville County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Daniel R. Clark, Michael F. Winchester, Bonneville County Sheriff's Office, Paul J. Wilde, and Korey Edward Payne's (“Bonneville County Defendants”) Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. 4. Having reviewed the record and briefs, the Court finds that the facts and legal arguments are adequately presented. Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding further delay, and because the Court finds that the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument, the Court will decide the motion without oral argument. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(d)(2)(ii). For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS the Motion.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Maria Mendoza-Jimenes filed this lawsuit on December 6, 2017. In her Complaint, Mendoza-Jimenes alleges various civil rights violations against the Bonneville County Defendants stemming from theft charges Bonneville County filed against her which were later dropped. Put succinctly, Mendoza-Jimenes alleges that the Bonneville County Defendants were derelict in their duties and falsely charged and imprisoned her for a theft she did not commit. According to Mendoza-Jimenes, all of this could have been avoided had the Bonneville County Defendants performed a competent and thorough investigation.

         In the instant Motion, the Bonneville County Defendants assert that Mendoza-Jimenes failed to properly serve them in compliance with Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Based upon this deficient service, the Bonneville County Defendants ask the Court to dismiss all claims against them.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs service of process. Pursuant to Rule 4(m), it is a plaintiff's duty to serve each defendant in the case within 90 days after filing the complaint or request a waiver or service under Rule 4(d). Service upon a defendant in their individual capacity must conform with Rule 4(e) as follows:

(e) 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 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. P. 4(e). Serving an individual defendant in his or her official capacity “may be made personally or by leaving the summons and complaint with an authorized agent at the defendant's place of employment.” Gerritsen v. ...


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