United States District Court, W.D. Virginia
CEDRICK DRAPER. Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE. Defendant.
GLEN E. CONRAD SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Draper, proceeding rjro 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 to 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 May 16, 2018. after receiving a
response from Draper, the court issued another notice
advising Draper that he had no! 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 order.
extended deadline for effecting service has passed, and
Draper has failed to establish that the Postal Service was
properly served with 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-00250. 2017
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77011. at *2 (N.D. lnd. 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 1o 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. 4(i)(1)(A)(i)-(ii).
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. The
tracking number on the receipt reveals only that a package
was delivered to an unknown address in Roanoke, Virginia on
May 18. 2018. which docs not meet the requirements of Rule
4(i). in short. Draper has consistently failed to establish
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 own 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 uniil May 14, 2018 to accomplish
service on the Postal Service. However, in light of his pro.
se 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 does not
equate to sufficient service of process, even under the
liberal construction of the rules applicable to a eio.
££ plaintiff." Scott v. Md. State
Dcp't of Labor. 673 Fed.Appx. 299, 305 (4ih Cir.
2016). Likewise, "[t]hc filing of a removal petition
docs not cure a defect in service or constitute a waiver of
the right to object lo service of process." Nasser
v. Whitepaaes. Inc.. No. 5:12-ev-00097. 2013 U.S. Dist.
LEX]S 73697, at *5 (W.D. Va. ...