United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Charlottesville Division
CEDRJCK DRAPER. Plaintiff.
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE. Defendant.
GLEN E. CONRAD, SENIOR UNITED STALES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Draper, proceeding Pro se. filed this action against the
United States Postal Service (Postal Service) in the General
District Court for the City of Charlottesville. The Postal
Service removed the case lo this court on February 12, 2018.
By letter dated March 9, 2018. an Assistant United States
Attorney (AUSA) advised the plaintiff that it appeared that
service had not been properly effected in accordance with the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The AUSA recommended that
the plaintiff consult Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(i),
which sets forth the requirements for serving the United
States and its agencies, corporations, officers, or
employees. The AUSA also supplied the names of employees
designated to accept service of process on behalf of the
United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia.
plaintiff responded by letter dated March 15, 2018. In his
letter, the plaintiff acknowledged that the Postal Service
had not been properly served with process, and he
"apologize[d]" for the "error." Docket No.
9. Nonetheless, the plaintiff filed a motion for summary
judgment against the Postal Service that same day.
order entered May 10, 2018, the court denied the motion for
summary judgment, and directed Draper to serve the Postal
Service and provide proof of service to the court by May 28,
2018, ' On Ma\ 16, 2018, after receiving a response from
Draper, the court issued another notice ad\'ising Draper
that lie had not provided proof of service in accordance with
Rule 4(i), and that the case would be dismissed without
prejudice if he did not comply with the court's previous
extended deadline for effecting service has passed, and
Draper has failed to esiublish that the Postal Service was
properly served wiih process. By statute, the Postal Service
must be served "in the same way one would serve the
United States under the Federal Rules."
Douglass v. United States Postal Sen-.. No.
3:17-cv-0025O, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77011. at *2 (N.D. Ind.
May 22, 2017) (citing 39 U.S.C. § 409(b)); see also
Marcus v. Postmaster Gen.. 461 Fed.Appx. 820. 821 (11th
Cir. 2011) (holding that the Postal Service must be served in
accordance with Rule 4(i)). To serve the United States, a
plaintiff must send a copy of the summons and complaint by
registered or certified mail to the Attorney General of the
United States and deliver a copy of the summons and complaint
to the United States Attorney for the district where the
action is brought. Fed. R. Civ. P, 4(i)(1). Delivery to the
United States Attorney may be effected by (1) delivering a
copy of the summons and complaint to the United States
Attorney; (2) delivering a copy of the summons and complaint
to an AUSA or clerical employee designated by the United
States Attorney in a writing filed with the court clerk; or
(3) sending a copy of the summons and complaint by registered
or certified mail to the civil-process clerk at the United
States Attorney's office. Fed.R.Civ.P.
17, 2018, Draper filed a self-styled "certificate of
service, " along with a package receipt from a United
Parcel Service (UPS) store. Docket No. 21. However, neither
the certificate nor the UPS receipt indicates that the Postal
Service was properly served with process.
tracking number on the receipt reveals only that a package
was delivered to an unknown address in Roanoke, Virginia on
May 18. 2018. which does not meet the requirements of Rule
4(i). In short, Draper has consistently failed to esiablish
that "a copy of the summons and of the
complaint'' was sent to the Attorney General of the
United States in Washington. D.C. or delivered to an
appropriate person in the United States Attorney's
office. Fed. R, Civ, P. 4(i)(A).
court has advised Draper on multiple occasions that he must
satisfy the service requirements of Rule 4(i). Despite receiving
an extension of time in which to serve the Postal Service, he
has not provided proof of service in accordance with the
federal rule. Accordingly, pursuant to Rule 4(m) and the
court's previous order, the court will dismiss the action
without prejudice. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m) ("If a
defendant is not served within 90 days after the complaint is
filed, the court--on motion or on its out) after notice to
the plaintiff-must dismiss the action without prejudice
against that defendant or order that service be made within a
Clerk is directed to send a copy of this memorandum opinion
and the accompanying order to the plaintiff and all counsel
 Based on the filing date of the notice
of removal, Draper had until May 14, 2018 to accomplish
service on the Postal Service. However, in light of his jiro.
jc status and the particular circumstances presented, the
court extended the time for Draper to properly serve the
Postal Service until May 28, 2018.
 Although the Postal Service may be
aware of the pending action, "[a]ctual notice docs not
equate to sufficient service of process, even under the
liberal construction of the rules applicable to a pro
S£ plaintiff." Scott v. Md. State Dep't of
Labor.673 Fed.Appx. 299, 305 (4th Cir. 2016). Likewise,
"[t]he filing of a removal petition does not cure a
defect in service or constitute a waiver of the right to
object to service of process." Nasser v. Whitepages.
Inc.. No. 5:12-cv-00097, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73697, at
'5 (W.D. Va. May ...