United States District Court, D. Arizona
Sociedad de Produccion Rural de Responsabilidad Limitada Huehuetan, Plaintiff,
Golden Fruit Company LLC, Defendant.
J. Markovich United States Magistrate Judge
before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion for Alternative
Service pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(e) and (h) and Cal. Corp.
Code § 1702. (Doc. 7). Plaintiff requests an order
authorizing alternative service of the Summons, Complaint,
and this Order by: (1) hand delivery to the California
Secretary of State, pursuant to Cal. Corp. Code § 1702;
(2) first-class U.S. mail, and by certified mail, return
receipt requested, to Jose Eduardo Francis Alarcon, Golden
Fruit’s statutory agent, at 1631 Rossin Ct., Chula
Vista, CA 91913-1713; (3) first-class U.S. mail and by
certified mail, return receipt requested, to Raul Nava,
Golden Fruit’s owner, at P.O. Box 531921, San Diego, CA
92153; and (4) first-class U.S. mail and by certified mail,
return receipt requested, to Jason E. Turner of the J. Turner
Law Group, APC, 823 Anchorage Pl., Chula Vista, CA 91914.
Id. at 2. Plaintiff states that it will file
Affidavits of Service with the Court upon completion of these
actions. Plaintiff also requests an award of costs and
attorneys’ fees incurred in attempting service and in
bringing the present motion.
date, no defendant has appeared in this action.
Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (“PACA”)
case was instituted by Plaintiff Sociedad de Producciόn
Rural de Responsabilidad Limitada Huehuetan on April 21, 2016
against Defendant Golden Fruit Company, LLC. (Doc. 1). The
Complaint alleges that Defendant failed to pay Plaintiff the
agreed-upon purchase price for an order of Karla bananas.
Id. at 2. Plaintiff filed a complaint with the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, and on February 19, 2016 the
Office of the Secretary of Agriculture entered a Decision and
Order in favor of Plaintiff and ordered Defendant to pay
$267, 982.18, with interest at the rate of .51% per annum
from February 19, 2016 until paid, plus the amount of
$500.00. Id. at 2-3. Plaintiff alleges that, to
date, Defendant has made no payments for the amounts owed.
Plaintiff’s Complaint seeks enforcement of the PACA
award and attorneys’ fees.
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m), a defendant must be served within 90
days of the filing of the complaint. Accordingly, the time
for service in this action expires on July 21, 2016.
alleges it has repeatedly attempted to obtain a waiver of
service from Defendant’s counsel, Jason E. Turner, but
has received no response from Mr. Turner. (Doc. 7 at 1).
Plaintiff also attempted to serve Defendant at the last known
address of its statutory agent, Jose Eduardo Francis Alarcon,
at 1540 Gold Run Road, Chula Vista, CA 91913, but learned
that Mr. Alarcon is not associated with that address.
Id. Plaintiff then learned that Mr. Alarcon resides
and/or accepts mail at 1631 Rossin Ct., Chula Vista, CA
91913-1713, but has been unsuccessful in its repeated
attempts to serve Mr. Alarcon at this address. Id.
at 2. Plaintiff notes that “the process server
indicated that one or more person was present at the
residence at the time of the attempted services, but may have
been evading service on one or more occasions.”
requests an order allowing alternative service because it
“has been unable to personally serve Defendant Golden
Fruit at either of its statutory agent’s last known
addresses, and is unlikely to succeed in doing so in the
a federal court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a
defendant, the procedural requirement of service of the
summons and complaint must be satisfied. Omni Capital
Int'l., Ltd. v. Rudolf Wolff & Co., 484 U.S. 97,
104 (1987), superseded by statute on other grounds by
S.E.C. v. Ross, 504 F.3d 1130, 1138 (9th Cir. 2007).
Because service of process is the means by which a trial
court obtains jurisdiction over a person, “[a] person
is not bound by a judgment in a litigation to which he or she
has not been made a party by service of process.”
Mason v. Genisco Technology Corp., 960 F.2d 849, 851
(9th Cir. 1992). Rule 4, Fed.R.Civ.P., governs the service of
process in federal courts. “A federal court is without
personal jurisdiction over a defendant unless the defendant
has been served in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 4.”
Benny v. Pipes, 799 F.2d 489, 492 (9th Cir. 1986).
Unless extended by the district court, the plaintiff must
serve the defendant with a copy of the summons and complaint
within 90 days of filing the complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m).
Rule of Civil Procedure 4(h) addresses service of process on
a legal entity, such as a corporation, partnership, or
limited liability company, within or outside a judicial
district of the United States. It provides that unless
otherwise provided by federal law or a defendant’s
waiver of service under Rule 4(d) has been filed, a person or
legal entity may be served:
(1) in a judicial district of the United States:
(A) in the manner prescribed by Rule 4(e)(1) for serving an
(B) by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint
to an officer, a managing or general agent, or any other
agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service
of process and-if the agent is one authorized by statute and
the statute so ...