United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER & REASONS
W. ASHE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
considering plaintiff Sylvia James's motion to appoint
attorney to represent defendant Courtney Eaton a/k/a Courtney
Eaton Rohlfs,  the parties' memoranda, the record,
the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation,
defendant Progressive Specialty Insurance Company's
objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation,  and the applicable law, the Court hereby
finds that appointing an attorney to accept service for
Rohlfs is unnecessary because James has already effected
service on Rohlfs.
4(e)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states that
an individual “may be served in a judicial district of
the United States by … 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
….” The Louisiana long-arm statute provides that
a non-resident defendant may be served by a plaintiff's
sending to that defendant, via registered or certified mail,
a certified copy of the summons and complaint. La. R.S.
13:3204(A). There is no requirement that the plaintiff
receive a signed return receipt. McFarland v.
Dippel, 756 So.2d 618, 622 (La.App. 2000).
has complied with Louisiana's long-arm statute to effect
service of Rohlfs. On November 19, 2018, James sent a
certified copy of the summons and complaint by certified mail
to Rohlfs at an address in Arcadia, California; on February 19,
2019, James sent the same materials by certified mail to
Rohlfs at an address in Chardon, Ohio; and on July 29,
2019, James sent the summons and complaint by certified mail
to Rohlfs at an address in Twinsburg, Ohio.The tracking
information in each instance indicated either
“insufficient address” or “no authorized
recipient available.” Yet, the addresses to which James
directed the mailings, and thus attempted to serve Rohlfs
pursuant to the long-arm statute, were the very addresses
provided to James by Progressive in discovery in this
case. It is undisputed that Progressive is
Rohlfs's insurer, is in contact with her, and has
notified her of this suit.
satisfy the Louisiana long-arm statute, plaintiffs need only
send a certified copy of the summons and complaint to a
non-resident defendant by registered or certified mail; there
is no requirement for a signed return receipt or actual
physical service. See, e.g., Major v. Patriot Disaster
Servs. LLC, 2017 WL 457656, at *3-4 (M.D. La. Feb. 2,
2017) (plaintiffs' certified mailing of process to
address for defendant provided by defense counsel fulfilled
the requirements of Louisiana's long-arm statute)
(discussing and applying McFarland, 756 So.2d at
620). Hence, James has satisfied the requirements of service
under the long-arm statute. Moreover, because Rohlfs has
actual notice of the suit and James has diligently attempted
to properly effect service under the long-arm statute, due
process is not offended by deeming James's efforts as
having satisfied the statutory requisites for long-arm
service. Thus, because Rohlfs has already been served with
the summons and complaint in this matter, it is unnecessary
to appoint an attorney to effect service on her.
for the foregoing reasons, IT IS ORDERED that plaintiffs
motion to appoint attorney (R. Doc. 20) is DENIED;
FURTHER ORDERED that James's service on Rohlfs is deemed
sufficient and the Clerk's office is directed to indicate
on the docket that Rohlfs has been served; and
FURTHER ORDERED that Rohlfs take immediate steps to file
responsive pleadings, which must be filed on or before thirty
(30) days from the date of this Order.
 R. Doc. 20.
 R. Doc. 29.
 R. Doc. 33.