United States District Court, D. Maine
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON MOTION TO EXTEND TIME AND
FOR SERVICE BY ALTERNATE MEANS
C. NIVISON, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action, Plaintiff Arlene Edson alleges Defendants violated
her rights when they used excessive force against her while
she resided at the Riverview Psychiatric Center. Plaintiff
requests an extension of time to serve Defendant Kelly
Lavigne, and requests leave to serve Defendant Lavigne by
alternate means. (Plaintiff’s Motion to Extend Time and
to Allow Service on Kelly Lavigne by Alternate Means, ECF No.
37.) The Court grants Plaintiff’s motion.
date, Plaintiff has not served Defendant Lavigne with the
complaint and summons. Plaintiff has attempted to locate and
serve Defendant Lavigne as follows:
1. Plaintiff has searched various social media websites;
public records databases; and Maine government websites,
including the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Plaintiff has
also attempted without success to make telephone contact with
Defendant Lavigne through a particular listed telephone
2. Plaintiff retained the Kennebec County Sherriff’s
Office and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office to
locate and serve Defendant Lavigne in Kennebec and Cumberland
counties. Deputy Harry McKenney of the Kennebec
Sheriff’s Office learned that Defendant Lavigne was no
longer employed at the Maine Department of Corrections.
3. Plaintiff hired a private investigator, Joseph D.
Thornton, Jr. (“Thornton”) and his associate,
Alan E. Goodman (“Goodman”) to conduct a public
records search, obtain potential addresses for Defendant
Lavigne and travel to those addresses in an effort to serve
Defendant Lavigne. The addresses include 27 Oak Terrace,
Brunswick; 556 Court St., Auburn; 31 Clearview Lane, Topsham;
6 Cyr St., Auburn; 341 Christina Ridge Rd., South Paris; 40
Fuller Mountain Rd., Phippsburg; and 24 Tarbox Rd., Bath. Mr.
Thornton learned that Defendant Lavigne now goes by the name
of Kelly Atwood Coffin. He made efforts to contact her
through a relative who reportedly lived at 24 Tarbox Road in
Bath, but was unsuccessful.
(Affidavit of Attorney Daniel G. Lilley ¶¶ 6 - 20,
ECF No. 37-1.)
has incurred approximately $1, 800 in costs in her effort to
locate and serve Defendant Lavigne. (Id. ¶ 22.)
Despite Plaintiff’s efforts, Plaintiff has been unable
to locate and serve Defendant Lavigne. Plaintiff requests
permission to serve Defendant by publication in the
Portland Press Herald, a newspaper of general
circulation available in Cumberland and Sagadahoc Counties in
Maine, which comprise four of Defendant Lavigne’s
potential residences, including 24 Tarbox Rd., in Bath, where
Defendant Lavigne’s relative is believed to live.
(Id.) Plaintiff also proposes to serve Defendant
Lavigne through publication in the Maine Sunday
Telegram, a newspaper of general circulation, which is
published every Sunday and is sold statewide.
Extension of Time
Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m) provides that a party must serve
the named defendants within 90 days of filing a complaint. If
service is not accomplished in this time, the court may
dismiss the defendant from the action, without prejudice, or
order that service be made within a specific period.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m). On a showing of good cause, the court must
extend the time for service for an appropriate period.
commenced this action by filing her complaint in Maine
Superior Court on November 30, 2015. On February 10, 2016,
Defendants removed the action to this Court. On that date,
the Clerk determined May 10, 2016, as the service of process
deadline. On May 6, 2016, Plaintiff filed the instant motion.
has demonstrated good cause for her need for an extension of
time in which to serve Defendant Lavigne. Despite diligent
efforts, Plaintiff was not able to serve Defendant Lavigne
prior to May 10. Accordingly, the time for service will be
extended to ...