United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
Gail Dein United States District Judge
reasons stated below, the Court allows in part and denies in
part the plaintiff's motion concerning service of
November 2, 2016, pro se litigant Robert Wilson
(“Wilson”), who is incarcerated at MCI Norfolk,
filed a civil rights action in which he alleges that, for the
past two decades, he has not received adequate medical
treatment from prison medical providers. The complaint was
filed without payment of the filing fee or a motion for leave
to proceed in forma pauperis. Wilson later paid the
$400 filing fee.
memorandum and order dated January 4, 2017 (Dkt. Entry No.
7), the Court ordered the Clerk to issue summonses as to all
defendants. The Court also explained that Wilson could ask
the defendants to waive service of the summonses.
Clerk issued a single summons which contained the case
caption, electronic signature of a deputy clerk, and seal of
the Court. The notation made on the docket for the issuance
of the summonses directed the plaintiff to “copy this
summons, complete one for each defendant and serve it in
accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 4 and LR 4.1” (Dkt. Entry
No. 8). The Clerk also provided the plaintiff with one copy
of the forms needed to seek a waiver of service of summons.
January 25, 2017, Wilson filed a “Motion for Corrective
Summonses, as well as Other Material Connected to Said
Summonses, and Additional Time to Serve all Defendants in
this Case” (Dkt. Entry No. 9). He asks therein for (1)
a copy of the summons for each defendant or permission to
make a copy of the summons that he received; (2) a copy of
the forms to seek a waiver of service of the summons for each
defendant or permission to make a copy of the forms he
received; (3) forms for service by the United States Marshals
Service (“USMS”); (4) permission to have the USMS
complete service; and (5) additional time to complete
service. Wilson also represents that he paid the filing fee
through a friend.
Number of Forms Received
Clerk provided one summons and one set of paperwork for
seeking a waiver of summons with the intent that Wilson make
copies of the documents and then complete them for each
defendant. Wilson does not need permission from the Court to
make copies of these forms.
Service by the USMS
plaintiff is authorized to proceed in forma
pauperis, the Court must order that the USMS complete
service at the plaintiff's direction with all costs to be
advanced by the United States. See Fed.R.Civ.P.
4(c)(3). Although Wilson represents that he is
indigent, he has not submitted an application to proceed
in forma pauperis, a prison account statement
showing all transactions for the most recent six-month
period, or any other proof of his indigency. While prisoners
are often allowed to proceed in forma pauperis, the
Court must review Wilson's financial information before
ordering that the USMS complete service. Therefore, the Court
will deny without prejudice his request to have service
completed by the USMS. Wilson may renew his request provided
that he submits a prison account statement showing all
account activity for the last six months and a completed
Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying
Fees or Costs.
Requesting a Waiver for the Service of
alternative to having the USMS (or another adult not a party
to the case) serve the individual defendants and
Massachusetts Partnership for Correctional Health
(“MPCH”) in person, Wilson may procure waivers of
service of summons from them.See Fed.R.Civ.P.
4(d)(1). The gist of this process is that the plaintiff mails
to a defendant a notice of the lawsuit, a request that the
defendant waive service of the summons, and a copy of the
complaint. If the defendant agrees, he or she signs a waiver
form and returns it to the plaintiff. The plaintiff then
files the waiver with the Court. This process may be
conducted by regular mail. If a defendant fails, without good
cause, to sign and return the waiver, he or she may be ...