United States District Court, D. Arizona
Honorable David C. Bury, United States District Judge.
March 26, 2018, Plaintiffs filed their Complaint against
Defendants Lewis and Lewis Insurance Agency (Lewis and
Lewis), a California corporation, and Qualitas Compania de
Seguros (Qualitas), a Mexico corporation. Plaintiffs served
process on Lewis and Lewis. Plaintiffs have not served
Qualitas. Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P.4(h), Rule 4(f) applies
to serving Qualitas, a foreign corporation. Rule 4(f)
provides for service “by any internationally agreed
means of service that is reasonably calculated to give
notice, such as those authorized by the Hague Convention on
the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial
Documents.” Mexico and the United States are
signatories to the Hague Convention, therefore, service of
process on Defendant Qualitas in Mexico must conform to the
requirements of the Hague Convention. Volkswagenwerk
Aktiengesellschaft v. Schlunk, 486 U.S. 694, 705 (1988).
“The primary means by which service is accomplished
under the Convention is through a receiving country's
‘Central Authority.'” Brockmeyer v.
May, 383 F.3d 798, 801 (9th Cir.2004).
filed a Motion for Alternative Service on Qualitas because,
after living in Mexico for a number of years, Plaintiffs are
familiar with how process works in Mexico. According to the
Plaintiffs, while it is technically possible to serve a party
in Mexico, “what happens is that service is rarely
affected because of the corruption of the Police department
who ultimately are responsible to make the service of
process.” (Motion (Doc. 32) at 2.) Unfortunately for
Plaintiffs, this is the sole avenue available to serve
Defendant Qualitas, a Mexican corporation. The Court shall
grant an extension of time for Plaintiffs to affect service
in conformance with the Hague Convention. When signing the
Hague Convention, Mexico objected to the Plaintiffs'
alternative suggestion for service of process by certified
mail. Therefore, as long as service under the Hague is
possible, the alternative of serving process by certified
mail is not an option under Rule 4(f)(3), as an “other
means not prohibited by international agreement, as the court
Court shall grant the Plaintiffs an extension of time to
serve Defendant Qualitas, a Mexican corporation in Mexico,
for as long as necessary upon proof that Plaintiffs have
initiated the process and are in compliance with the Hague
Convention for service of process and are complying with any
directives from the Central Authority.
Plaintiffs also seek to amend the Complaint to add Defendant
Qualitas Insurance Co., a California company. The Plaintiffs
assert that they have properly served this California company
but do not offer proof of service.
Plaintiffs have not complied with LRCiv. 15.1(a), for
amendment of pleadings by motion. The Court will consider the
request to add Qualitas Insurance Co., if and when a motion
for leave to amend the Complaint to add it is filed by
Plaintiffs in compliance with Rule 15.1(a), including
attaching “a copy of the proposed amended pleading as
an exhibit to the motion, which must indicate in what respect
it differs from the pleading which it amends, by bracketing
or striking through the text to be deleted and underlining
the text to be added.”
IS ORDERED that the Motion for Alternative Service
of Process (Doc. 32) is DENIED.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Motion for Extension of
Time (Doc. 31) is GRANTED upon the filing by the Plaintiffs
of proof that they have initiated service of process on
Qualitas Compania de Seguros with the Central Authority in
Mexico, pursuant to the Hague Convention. The extension shall
depend on the Plaintiffs filing proof of commencement of
service of process in Mexico within 14 days of the filing
date of this Order. Failure by Plaintiffs to provide proof
that they have initiated process of service in Mexico may
result in this Court dismissing Defendant Qualitas from this
IS FURTHER ORDERED that if Plaintiffs pursue service
of process in Mexico on Qualitas, the Plaintiffs shall file
status reports with the Court upon receiving any
communications from the Central Authority regarding service
and shall attach any such communication to the status report.
Even if there are no Central Authority communications, the
Plaintiffs shall file a status report with this Court 90 days
from the filing date of this Order.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that if Plaintiffs seek to add
Qualitas Insurance Company, a San Diego, California,
corporation, they shall do so by filing a Motion for Leave to