United States District Court, D. Arizona
A. Teilborg Senior United States District Judge.
before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for alternative
service as to Defendant Hashem Abouzeid and a motion for
attorney's fees. (Doc. 17). Plaintiff offers evidence that
Defendant Abouzeid has been evading service. (Id.).
As a result, Plaintiff seeks alternative service as permitted
under the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure (which is
permitted under the Federal Rules). (Id. at 2-3).
Specifically, Federal Rule of Civil Procedural 4(e)(1) says,
“an individual… may be served…by: (1)
following state law for serving a summons in an action
brought in the courts of general jurisdiction in the state
where the district court is located….”
never cites which Rule of the Arizona Rules of Civil
Procedure she seeks to use for alternative service. However,
she does cite to an opinion of the Arizona Court of Appeals
dealing with service by publication to state she is
not seeking service by publication. (Id.).
Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure permit service by
publication in certain circumstances. Specifically, Arizona
Rule of Civil Procedure 4.1(1) states:
(1) Service by Publication.
(1) Generally. A party may serve a person by
publication only if:
(A) the last-known address of the person to be served us
within Arizona but:
(i) the serving party, despite reasonably diligent efforts,
had been unable to ascertain the person's current
(ii) the person to be served has intentionally avoided
service of process; and
(B) service by publication is the best means practicable in
the circumstance for providing the person with notice of the
Ariz. R. Civ. P. 4.1(1). The Rule then goes on to explain how
a plaintiff must accomplish service by publication.
Arizona law, a plaintiff does not need, and should not seek,
advance permission to serve by publication. Ritchie v.
Salvatore Gatto Partners, 222 P.3d 920, 923 n.4
(Ariz.Ct.App. 2010) (“The decision whether to pursue
personal service or service by publication is that of the
plaintiff, not the court [and] [b]ecause the court does not
preauthorize service by publication, the determination
whether publication constitutes adequate service is made
later in the case.”).
case, however, Plaintiff seeks alternative service not by
publication, but by social media and by mailing a copy
counsel for Defendant Abouzeid in another matter. (Doc. 17 at
4). Plaintiff obtains this idea from Ruffino v.
Lokosky, 425 P.3d 1108, 1113 ¶16 (Ariz.Ct.App.
2018), which held: “Given our present society, we agree
with the superior court that modern methods of communication,
especially email, were more likely to give [Defendant] notice
of a suit than publication in a newspaper distributed in a
rural area 70 miles from [Defendant's] Scottsdale
home.” Thus, in Ruffino, the Arizona Court of
Appeals set aside a default judgment when service was by
publication under Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 4.1(1)(B),
finding that publication was not the “best” means
for providing notice.
opinion, the Arizona Court of Appeals cited Arizona Rule of