United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Ocala Division
JORGE A. TORRES, JR., Plaintiff,
RICHARD MERCADO, ADRIANE ISENBERG, LETICIA MARIA TORRES and VIVIANA DESIRE GONZALEZ Defendants.
R. LAMMENS United States Magistrate Judge
case is before the Court for consideration of pro se
Plaintiff's expedited motion to direct the United States
Marshal to serve Defendant at “another place.”
(Doc. 16). Specifically, Plaintiff requests that the Court
Order the Marshal to serve a summons upon Plaintiff's
estranged wife during a pretrial conference in the
parties' divorce proceedings in state court scheduled for
February 8, 2017. As explained below, Plaintiff's motion
is due to be denied as to the specific relief requested.
action, Plaintiff has filed a pro se Complaint
against four named Defendants, including his estranged wife,
Leticia Torres, Richard Mercado, Adriane Isenberg, and
Viviana Desire Gonzalez, alleging claims under the
Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994, 18 U.S.C.
§§ 2721, et seq. (DPPA), for violations of
his federal privacy rights as created by DPPA. Plaintiff
alleges that Defendants “confederated” to access
his personal information without any lawful purpose.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Mercado is an employee of
the City of Tampa Police Department, and that Mercado
accessed and provided Plaintiff's personal information to
the co-defendants to be used against Plaintiff as part of
divorce proceedings, and to otherwise harm him. (Doc. 1,
¶ 13). Plaintiff contends that all four Defendants have
unlawfully accessed and disclosed Plaintiff's
information. (Doc. 1 ¶ 14). It is Plaintiff's
contention that his former wife, Letitia Maria Torres,
maintains a close relationship with Mercado, and that the
relationship started after Plaintiff and his wife separated.
Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant Gonzalez
“frequently becomes friends with and dates police
officers in order to use them as a tool to harm the
Plaintiff.” (Doc. 1, ¶ 13). Plaintiff alleges that
Mercado obtained Plaintiff's personal information via
misuse access of Florida's DAVID (Driver and Vehicle
Information Database) system, and “used or
disclosed” the information to the other Defendants.
(Doc. 1, ¶ 15). Plaintiff was granted leave to proceed
in forma pauperis. (Doc. 2).
far, Defendant Adriane Isenberg has appeared and filed an
Answer. (Doc. 12). The summonses for Defendants Leticia
Torres and Viviana Gonzalez, however, were returned
unexecuted by the U.S. Marshal. (Doc. 13 & 14).
now moves for the Court to direct the United States Marshal
to serve Leticia Torres and Viviana Gonzalez at a specific
time and place. (Doc. 16). Plaintiff contends that Defendants
Leticia Torres and Viviana Gonzalez are avoiding process, but
that he has learned that Leticia Torres has been ordered to
appear before the Circuit Court for the Fifth Judicial
Circuit at the Marion County Judicial Center on Thursday,
February 8, 2018 at 9.00 a.m. in Courtroom 3A, directly
across the street from the U.S. Marshals' Office in
Ocala. Plaintiff also contends that Leticia Torres'
daughter, Viviana Gonzalez, may also be present at that time.
Plaintiff attaches a copy of a pretrial order regarding
divorce proceedings involving himself and Defendant Leticia
Torres. (Doc. 16, p. 3-6). Plaintiff does not cite any legal
authority in support of this novel and specific request.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(c)(3) provides that the Court shall direct the
U.S. Marshal to effect service on a defendant, it doesn't
compel the Court to direct the U.S. Marshal to act on a
specific date and time to do so. The Court is disinclined to
direct the U.S. Marshal to effect service at a particular
time and place, thereby diverting law enforcement resources
that may be needed elsewhere. Importantly, under the Federal
Rules, Plaintiff is not without other options. Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 4(c) provides for other means of service,
in addition to utilizing the United States Marshal. Further,
even if Plaintiff chooses to proceed by relying solely on the
United States Marshal, if it becomes necessary the Court has
discretion to extend the time for service under Fed.R.Civ.P.
4(m). See Horenkamp v. Van Winkle & Co., 402
F.3d 1129, 1133 (11th Cir.2005). Plaintiff, however, has not
requested such an extension.
upon due consideration, it is Ordered that:
the reasons explained above, Plaintiff's motion (Doc. 16)
is DENIED as to the specific relief requested. If Plaintiff
desires an extension of time for service under Rule 4(m), or
if Plaintiff wishes to attempt to effect service via the
United States Marshal again in the future, as he is entitled
to do pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(c)(3), Plaintiff may file an
appropriate motion. If Plaintiff files such a motion,
Plaintiff should provide additional service copies of the
Complaint, a copy of this Order, and completed USM-285 forms
for the U.S. Marshals Service.
Plaintiff is again cautioned that despite proceeding pro
se, he is required to comply with this Court's Local
Rules, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Federal
Rules of Evidence. Plaintiff may obtain a copy of the Local
Rules from the Court's website
(http://www.flmd.uscourts.gov) or by visiting the Office of
the Clerk of Court. Also, resources and information related
to proceeding in court without a lawyer, including a handbook
entitled Guide for Proceeding Without a Lawyer, can
be located on the Court's website