United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Steven Halbach, and Michael D. Bornitz, for Plaintiffs.
N. Leung United States Magistrate Judge
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs Jason and Alicia
List's Motion for Alternative Service on Defendant
0820527 B C LTD, d/b/a Let It Ride Carriers (ECF No. 16). A
hearing was held on December 6, 2018. Attorney Michael D.
Bornitz appeared telephonically on behalf of Plaintiffs.
Defendants Robert Carwell and 0820527 B C LTD (“Let It
Ride”) did not appear.
action arises out of injuries sustained by Jason List
following an automobile accident in Hennepin County,
Minnesota, in 2015. (See Compl. ¶¶ 1,
11-13, ECF No. 1.) Let It Ride is a motor carrier located in
the Canadian province of British Columbia. (Compl.
¶¶ 5, 8.) At the time of the accident, Let It Ride
employed Carwell as a commercial truck driver. (Compl.
¶¶ 5, 10.) The accident occurred when the vehicle
Carwell was driving collided with a vehicle in which Jason
was a passenger. (Compl. ¶¶ 1, 11-13.) At the time
of the accident, Carwell was operating the vehicle within the
scope of his employment with Let It Ride. (Compl.
¶¶ 11, 13.) Following the accident, Jason was taken
to the emergency room by ambulance. (Compl. ¶ 15.)
on these events, Plaintiffs brought this action for
negligence, negligence per se, respondeat superior, and loss
of consortium against Defendants.
was served on September 5, 2018. (ECF No. 6.) On October 1,
Plaintiffs applied for entry of default against Carwell. (ECF
No. 7.) On October 11, the Clerk of Court entered default
against Carwell. (ECF No. 11.)
Let It Ride
December 2015 and July 2018, Plaintiffs' counsel was in
regular contact with Defendants' insurance carrier
regarding the events in question. (Mem. in Supp. at 2, ECF
No. 18; Aff. of Michael D. Bornitz ¶¶ 3-4, ECF No.
17.) In July 2018, Plaintiffs' counsel inquired if the
insurance “carrier would cooperate in getting service
of process effectuated, but the [claims] adjuster said they
would not cooperate.” (Bornitz Aff. ¶ 6.) Towards
the end of July, the claims adjuster asked whether the law
suit had been filed. (Bornitz Aff. ¶ 7.) Plaintiffs'
counsel has not heard from the “insurance carrier since
July 27, despite the carrier having actual notice that
[Plaintiffs] were going to be filing and serving the Summons
and Complaint.” (Bornitz Aff. ¶ 9.)
have tried multiple avenues to serve Let It Ride. Plaintiffs
first attempted service at an address in Forest Grove,
British Columbia. (Mem. in Supp. at 3; Bornitz Aff. ¶
11.) This address was listed on the insurance card carried by
Carwell and provided to law enforcement at the scene as well
as in the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records
(“SAFER”) System maintained by the Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Administration of the United State Department
of Transportation. (Mem. in Supp. at 3; Bornitz Aff.
¶¶ 11-12; Exs. B & C to Bornitz Aff., ECF No.
17-1 at 12-18.) This address led to a residential home where
a woman answered the door and stated that she believed Let It
Ride was her father's company and he was not home. (Mem.
in Supp. at 3-7; Bornitz Aff. ¶¶ 14-16; Ex. E to
Bornitz Aff., ECF No. 17-1 at 20.)
next attempted service at an address they found online
located in Lone Butte, British Columbia. (Mem. in Supp. at 4;
Bornitz Aff. ¶¶ 17-18; Exs. F-H to Bornitz Aff.,
ECF No. 17-1 at 21-37.) The current property owner had no
knowledge of Let It Ride, and neighbors informed the process
sever that “a truckin[g] company used to operate out of