United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
K. BREDAR, CHIEF JUDGE
case has been marked from its beginning by confusion over the
identity of the proper Defendant or Defendants. Plaintiff
Alex Williams Johnson has proceeded pro se in this
case claiming, inter alia, violation of the Fair
Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1681x, and
the Maryland Consumer Protection Act, Md. Code Ann., Com. Law
§§ 13-101-13-501 (West 2018). In the caption of
Johnson's original complaint, he referred to the only
Defendant as "Nowcom/New Market Auto." (Compl., ECF
No. 1.) He also described the "Defendant(s)" as the
Defendant(s) "NOWCOM/NEW MARKET AUTO" ("Debt
Collector") are limited liability corporations formed
under the laws of the State of California and Maryland. They
have a principled [sic] place of business located at
4751 Wilshire Blvd Ste 114, Los Angeles CA 90010 and 4453
Belair Rd, Baltimore, MD 21206.
(Id., ¶ 7.) In the rest of the complaint,
Johnson sometimes referred to "the Defendant" and
sometimes referred to "Defendants." After signing
his name to the complaint, Johnson included a certificate of
service indicating the complaint had been sent on October 31,
2018, via registered mail to Nowcom Corporation in Los
Angeles and to New Market Auto in Baltimore. (Compl. at pp.
7-11 (pagination provided by CM/ECF).)
supplied only one completed summons when he filed his case,
and although some of his handwriting may be illegible, the
summons appears to indicate service will be completed on the
Gary R. Maslan, Esquire
c/o Iman, Inc. dba New Market Auto
7508 Eastern Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21224.
(ECF No. 1-2.) In the summons, Johnson indicated the
Defendant was "Nowcom Corp./New Market Auto."
(Id.) The same day he filed his complaint, October
31, 2018, Johnson filed an Affidavit in Support of Motion for
Summary Judgment (ECF No. 2), which was docketed as a motion
for summary judgment, and a Motion to be Heard (ECF No. 3).
Neither of these filings bore the required certificate of
service upon any Defendant. To the extent they are motions,
they will be denied without prejudice.
December 10, 2018, Johnson filed a revised Affidavit in
Support of Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 6) and a
Notice to Take Judicial Notice (ECF No. 7). As with the
earlier filings, these new filings also did not include the
required certificate of service. Consequently, they, too,
will be denied without prejudice.
in response to its receipt by registered mail of
Johnson's complaint, Nowcom Corporation, through counsel,
filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim for
relief. (ECF No. 8.) The next day, December 11, 2018, the
Clerk mailed a form letter, referred to as a "Rule 12/56
letter," to Johnson informing him he had seventeen days
from the date of the letter to file any response to
Nowcom's motion and, further, informing Johnson the Court
may dismiss his case or enter judgment against him without
further notice if he fails to respond to the motion. (ECF No.
9.) Attached to the letter was the full text of both
referenced rules, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12 and 56.
(Id.) Besides its motion to dismiss, Nowcom also
filed a motion to strike Johnson's motion for summary
judgment, pointing out its prematurity. (ECF No. 10.)
December 21, 2018, the Clerk docketed NewMarket Auto's
Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 11), but because this document was
filed by an individual, Mohammad Sarihifard, purportedly on
New Market Auto's behalf, and because Sarihifard is not
an attorney admitted to this Court's bar, the Court
ordered the document stricken from the case (Order, Jan. 7,
2019, ECF No. 15); however, the Court's order was entered
after the Clerk had already sent another Rule 12/56 letter to
Johnson (ECF No. 12). Other than this unsuccessful attempt at
self-representation, New Market Auto has made no appearance
in the case.
filed a response to Nowcom's motion to dismiss. (ECF No,
16.) He also filed a motion for Clerk's entry of default
with the confusing case caption, "Alex Williams Johnson
Plaintiff v. New Market Auto/Nowcom Corp. Defendant(s),"
but seems to have aimed the motion only against New Market
Auto (ECF No. 19); in the motion he asks the Court to enter a
default judgment against New Market Auto because it did not
respond within 21 days of receiving the summons
(id.). To date, Johnson has failed to file an
appropriate proof of service. He was provided instructions in
the Court's Order dated November 5, 2018 (ECF No. 4) how
to accomplish the ...