United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Insurance Co. (“Plaintiff”) filed an amended
motion for alternative service on December 12, 2018. (ECF No.
18). Plaintiff's amended motion is largely a recitation
of the same explanation and request Plaintiff stated in its
original motion for alternative service. Plaintiff states
that it hired Monumental Process Servers to serve Crystal
Tanner (“Defendant Tanner”), the sole remaining
unserved Defendant named in this case. (ECF No. 18 ¶ 3).
The company was unsuccessful in its attempts to serve
Plaintiff in person at three prior addresses or via certified
mail, restricted delivery. The company also conducted an
unfruitful “skip trace” to identify Defendant
Tanner's current address. (Id. ¶¶
5-8). Due to Defendant Tanner's purportedly unknown
whereabouts, Plaintiff again moves to serve Avalon S. Brandt
(“Ms. Brandt”) on behalf of Defendant Tanner. Ms.
Brandt represents Defendant Tanner in Crystal Tanner v.
N.B.S., Inc., et al., No. 24C17000975 (Balt. City. Cir.
Ct.), an underlying case for lead paint exposure before the
Circuit Court for Baltimore City. Ms. Brandt “indicated
that she will not accept service on behalf of Defendant 
Tanner.” (Id. ¶ 12). Nevertheless,
Plaintiff presumes that serving Ms. Brandt is reasonably
calculated to give Defendant Tanner actual notice because
“[a]s counsel for Defendant  Tanner, Ms. Brandt must
have contact with Defendant  Tanner.” (ECF No. 18, at
Rule 4(e)(1) provides, in pertinent part, that an individual
may be served “pursuant to the law of the state in
which the district court is located.” Maryland Rule
2-121(c), in turn, provides that when presented with an
affidavit stating that good faith efforts to serve an
individual defendant in accordance with Maryland Rule
2-121(a) have failed and service under Maryland Rule 2-121(b)
is impracticable, “the court may order any other means
of service that it deems appropriate in the circumstances and
reasonably calculated to give actual notice.” In order
to pass constitutional muster, such notice “is that
which is ‘reasonably calculated, under all the
circumstances, to apprise interested parties of the pendency
of the action and afford them an opportunity to present their
objections.'” Elmco Props., Inc. v. Second
Nat'l Fed. Sav. Ass'n, 94 F.3d 914, 920-21
(4th Cir. 1996) (quoting Mullane v. Cent.
Hanover Bank & Trust Co., 339 U.S. 306, 314 (1950)).
Indeed, Maryland Rule 2-121(c)-as the law of the state in
which this court sits-“may be resorted to, subject only
to the constitutional requirement . . . that the means used
by the plaintiff be reasonably calculated to give the
defendant notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be
heard.” 4B Charles A. Wright and Arthur R. Miller,
Federal Practice & Procedure § 1115 (2002).
affidavit and supporting documents demonstrate that Plaintiff
has been unable to serve Defendant Tanner in accordance with
Rule 2-121(a). The docket of the underlying case in which Ms.
Brandt represents Defendant Tanner indicates that the parties
participated in active discovery until late November 2018 and
are now preparing for trial. See Maryland Judiciary
Case Search, Crystal Tanner v. N.B.S., Inc., et al.,
s?caseId=24C17000975&loc=69&detailLoc=CC. Based on
this activity, it appears that Ms. Brandt is in contact with
Defendant Tanner and serving Ms. Brandt is reasonably
calculated to give Defendant Tanner actual notice. See,
e.g., Fematt v. City of Chicago, 2011 WL 2415340 (N.D.
Ill. June 10, 2011). However, in light of Ms. Brandt's
refusal to accept service on behalf of Defendant Tanner,
Plaintiff's request for alternative service will be
granted with the caveat that Ms. Brandt may file a motion to
quash if service upon her will not provide actual notice to
it is this 28th day of January, 2019, by the
United States District Court for the District of Maryland,
1. The motion for alternative service (ECF No. 18) BE, and
the same hereby IS, GRANTED;
2. Plaintiff may serve Defendant Crystal Tanner by sending a
copy of the complaint, summons, civil cover sheet, and a copy
of this Order to Plaintiff Crystal Tanner, c/o her counsel of
record in Crystal Tanner v. N.B.S., Inc., et al.,
No. 24C17000975 (Balt. City. Cir. Ct.), Avalon S. Brandt,
with the law offices of Evan K. Thalenberg, P.A., 216 East
Lexington Street, Baltimore, MD, 21202 via certified mail,
3. The Clerk is DIRECTED to transmit a copy of this Order to
counsel of record.
 The court may take judicial notice of
the records of a state court. Goldfarb v. Mayor &
City Council of Baltimore, 791 F.3d 500, 508
(4th Cir. 2015) (“[A] court may properly
take judicial notice of matters of public record and other
information that, under Federal Rule of Evidence 201,