United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER & REASONS
M. AFRICK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is pro se plaintiff Tracy Riley's
(“Riley”) motion for an extension of time,
pursuant to Federal Rule of Procedure 6(b) “and General
Order and Guideline 4, ” to effect service on the
defendants in this case. In addition to resolving Riley's
present motion, the Court also uses this occasion to provide
written reasons for its November 7, 2018 order of dismissal
25, 2018, Riley filed her original complaint against over 100
defendants. On September 12, 2018, she filed an
amended complaint, naming several additional
timeliness requirement for service of process is governed by
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m), which provides:
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 specified time. But if the plaintiff shows good
cause for the failure, the court must extend the time for
service for an appropriate period.
submitted the present request for an extension of time on
October 23, 2018, exactly 90 days after her original
complaint was filed. The motion does not specify which
defendants Riley needs additional time to serve.
best of the Court's knowledge, the Fifth Circuit has not
addressed the question of whether the filing of an amended
complaint restarts the 90-day period during which the
plaintiff must effect service. However, other courts have
concluded that, when the plaintiff files an amended
complaint, the service period does not restart as to those
defendants named in the original complaint. Bolden v.
City of Topeka, 441 F.3d 1129, 1148 (10th Cir. 2006);
Carmona v. Ross, 376 F.3d 829, 830 (8th Cir. 2004);
see also UWM Student Ass'n v. Lovell, 888 F.3d
854, 859 (7th Cir. 2018); Warren v. Bituminous Cas.
Corp., No. 13-2354, 2014 WL 348544, at *2 (E.D. La. Jan.
31, 2014) (Milazzo, J.).
construction of the rule prevents the plaintiff from
repeatedly filing amended complaints to ‘extend the
time for service indefinitely.'” Bolden,
441 F.3d at 1148 (quoting Del Raine v. Carlson, 826
F.2d 698, 705 (7th Cir. 1987)). In an October 31, 2018 order,
the Court explained that it finds such reasoning persuasive
and adopted the approach of the foregoing
courts. Consequently, Riley was required to serve
the defendants named in the original complaint by October 23,
2018 or, at the latest, October 24, 2018.
a district court entertains a motion to extend time for
service, it must first determine whether good cause
exists.” Thompson v. Brown, 91 F.3d 20, 21
(5th Cir. 1996). If the Court finds good cause, it
must extend the time for service. Id.;
see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m). If the Court does not
find good cause, it may, in its discretion, either extend
time for service or dismiss the case. Id. The
plaintiff bears the burden of establishing good cause.
Winters v. Teledyne Movible Offshore, Inc., 776 F.2d
1304, 1305 (5th Cir. 1985); see also Newby v. Enron
Corp., 284 Fed.Appx. 146, 149 (5th Cir. 2008).
of good cause for failure to effect service “requires
‘at least as much as would be required to show
excusable neglect, as to which simple inadvertence or mistake
of counsel or ignorance of the rules usually does not
suffice.'” Thrasher v. City of Amarillo,
709 F.3d 509, 511 (5th Cir. 2013) (quoting Winters,
776 F.2d at 1306). “Additionally, some ‘showing
of good faith on the part of the party seeking an enlargement
and some reasonable basis for noncompliance within the time
specified is normally required.'” Id.
October 29, 2018, because a number of defendants had not been
timely served and in light of Riley's request for an
extension, the Court ordered Riley to appear before the Court
on November 7, 2018 and show good cause as to why those
defendants named in the original complaint that had not yet
been served should not be dismissed. Riley failed to appear
at the Court hearing. Consequently, the Court determined that
no good cause existed, and it dismissed those defendants
listed in the October 29, 2018 order from the case for the
same reasons, stated herein, that the Court now denies
Riley's motion for an extension of time.
support of her request, Riley cites the fact that she is a
pro se litigant who lacks knowledge of the
“complexity of the legal system” and the fact
that there are 135 defendants in this case. She also claims
that 80% of the defendants “have received