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State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. Amazon.Com Inc.

United States District Court, D. Arizona

October 11, 2017

State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, Plaintiff,
v.
Amazon.com Incorporated, Wallygadgets China, Shenzhen Bo Rui Ze Technology Company China, LG Shenzhen Technology Company China, LG Company Korea, LG Chem Company Korea, LG Chem China, and Super Engine, Defendants.

          ORDER

          James A. Teilborg Senior United States District Judge

         This case was filed on June 23, 2017. On July 31, 2017, this Court issued an order requiring service on all Defendants by September 21, 2017. The Court also required Plaintiff to file a status report regarding service. On August 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed the status report. (Doc. 21). Regarding the Defendants located in China, Plaintiff stated,

Plaintiff has contacted an expert in foreign service, Rick Hamilton of ABC Legal and he has reported the following: his company, as well as other foreign service companies, are having problems with China. He has not received a complete service request from China in two (2) years. However, he indicates that Article 15 of the Hague Convention allows the court to move forward with the case even if proof of service has not been provided by the Chinese authorities. Plaintiff's counsel hereby seeks leave of the Court to lodge for the Court's consideration an order pursuant to Article 15 of the Hague Convention. Plaintiff's counsel will have Mr. Hamilton continue to monitor the situation involving China and let Plaintiff's counsel know if the situation changes.

(Doc. 21).

         The Court is unclear why leave of Court was required to “lodge for the Court's consideration an order pursuant to Article 15 of the Hague Convention.” Nonetheless, the Court gave such permission on August 7, 2017.

         On September 19, 2017, (two days before the deadline to COMPLETE service), Plaintiff filed a request for extension of time to serve the Defendants located in China, stating:

Due to the high cost of service in China, prior to expending the money for service in China, Plaintiff's counsel requests an order from this Court extending the deadline for service in China to April 18, 2017 (6 months pursuant to Article 15 of the Hague Convention and an additional month to allow for this motion to be ruled upon), and that if no certificate of service or delivery can be obtained by that date, that the Court pursuant to Article 15 of the Hague Convention will enter an order that the Chinese entities are deemed served.

(Doc. 31).

         On September 20, 2017, this Court denied the motion for extension of time, stating:

Plaintiff has filed a motion for a 7 month extension of time to serve the Defendants in China. Plaintiff's motion does not address what efforts Plaintiff has taken in the 90 days since this case was filed to complete service.
Further, Plaintiff's motion states that “prior to expending money for service in China” but also states “if no certificate of service or delivery can be obtained”. (Doc. 31 at 2). These two phrases taken together seem to imply both that Plaintiff will, and will not, attempt service in the requested 7 months.
Finally, Plaintiff states in 7 months this Court shall enter an Order under Article 15 of the Hague Convention that deems the defendants in China to be served. However, Plaintiff's own recounting of what is required by the Hague Convention states “a period of not less than six months, … has elapsed since the date of transmission of the document;” (Doc. 31 at 2). Plaintiff's motion does not advise the Court when the document was transmitted such that these six months could begin running.

(Doc. 37).

         Following the September 20, 2017 Order, Plaintiff did nothing and the September 21, 2017 deadline to serve passed. On September 29, 2017, this Court issued an Order to show cause (by October 5, 2017) why the Defendants located in China should not be dismissed for failure to timely serve. (Doc. ...


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