United States District Court, D. Maryland
P. Gesner, Chief United States Magistrate Judge.
pending are plaintiffs' Request for Oral Examination and
Motion for Alternative Service (ECF No. 281) and Motion for
Contempt and Request for Show-Cause Hearing (ECF No. 284).
No. hearing is necessary. Loc. R. 105.6. For the reasons
stated below, plaintiffs' Request for Oral Examination is
granted, plaintiffs' Motion for Alternative Service is
denied, and plaintiffs' Motion for Contempt and Request
for Show-Cause Hearing is denied.
PLAINTIFFS' REQUEST FOR ORAL
request that the court issue an Order allowing plaintiffs to
take the oral examination of pro se defendant
Kenneth Jackson in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 69 and Maryland Rule 2-633(b). (ECF No. 281 at 1).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 69(a)(2) states that
“[i]n aid of the judgment or execution, the judgment
creditor or a successor in interest whose interest appears of
record may obtain discovery from any person-including the
judgment debtor-as provided in these rules or by the
procedure of the state where the court is located.”
Maryland Rule 2-633(b) states that “on request of a
judgment creditor, filed no earlier than 30 days after entry
of a money judgment, the court where the judgment was entered
or recorded shall issue an order requiring the appearance for
examination under oath before a judge or examiner of (1) the
judgment debtor, or (2) any other person who may have
property of the judgment debtor, be indebted for a sum
certain to the judgment debtor, or have knowledge of any
concealment, fraudulent transfer, or withholding of any
assets belonging to the judgment debtor.” Here, more
than 30 days have passed since this court entered a money
judgment against Mr. Jackson in favor of plaintiffs.
Accordingly, plaintiffs' request is granted, and a
separate order scheduling the oral examination shall be
PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR ALTERNATIVE
request that the court permit plaintiffs to serve Mr. Jackson
with the forthcoming order for oral examination by submitting
same via U.S. Mail, First Class, Postage Prepaid sent to Mr.
Jackson at 4100 E. Lombard St., Baltimore, MD 21224. (ECF No.
281 at 1). Maryland Rule 2-633(b) requires that the order be
served upon the judgment debtor in the manner provided by
Maryland Rule 2-121. Maryland Rule 2-121(a) states that
service of process may be made “(1) by delivering to
the person to be served a copy of the summons, complaint, and
all other papers filed with it; (2) if the person to be
served is an individual, by leaving a copy of the summons,
complaint, and all other papers filed with it at the
individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with
a resident of suitable age and discretion; or (3) by mailing
to the person to be served a copy of the summons, complaint,
and all other papers filed with it by certified mail
requesting: ‘Restricted Delivery--show to whom, date,
address of delivery.'” Maryland Rule 2-121(b)
states that “[w]hen proof is made by affidavit that a
defendant has acted to evade service, the court may order
that service be made by mailing a copy of the summons,
complaint, and all other papers filed with it to the
defendant at the defendant's last known residence and
delivering a copy of each to a person of suitable age and
discretion at the place of business of the defendant.”
Finally, Maryland Rule 2-121(c) states that “[w]hen
proof is made by affidavit that good faith efforts to serve
the defendant pursuant to section (a) of this Rule have not
succeeded and that service pursuant to section (b) of this
Rule is inapplicable or impracticable, the court may order
any other means of service that it deems appropriate in the
circumstances and reasonably calculated to give actual
plaintiffs argue that “Mr. Jackson has consistently
lied to the Court about his residence, ” as he
“has repeatedly stated that he may be served
exclusively at the address of El Dorado Lounge, Inc., which
Mr. Jackson has also repeatedly stated is out of
business.” (ECF No. 281 at 1). As noted by plaintiffs,
however, this is the only address that Mr. Jackson has ever
provided to the court, and Mr. Jackson has repeatedly
represented to the court that he receives mail at this
address and “has received all of the [p]laintiffs'
pleadings and correspondences as well as correspondence from
the Court at 4100 East Lombard Street.” (ECF No. 277 at
3). Accordingly, plaintiffs have failed to establish that
alternative service is appropriate pursuant to Maryland Rule
2-121(b) or 2-121(c), and plaintiffs' request is denied
MOTION FOR CONTEMPT AND REQUEST FOR SHOW- CAUSE
September 19, 2018, plaintiffs issued interrogatories
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 33, seeking
discovery in aid of judgment or execution from Mr. Jackson.
(ECF No. 274 at 2). Mr. Jackson failed to respond to those
interrogatories in a timely manner. Id. Plaintiffs
then filed a motion asking the court to compel Mr. Jackson to
respond and seeking sanctions against Mr. Jackson. (ECF No.
274). By order dated April 24, 2019, I ordered Mr. Jackson to
respond to these interrogatories by May 24, 2019 but denied
plaintiffs' request for other relief without prejudice.
(ECF No. 279). Mr. Jackson responded to plaintiffs'
interrogatories on May 22, 2019, although plaintiffs argue
that “Mr. Jackson literally provided no responses and
objected to all responses.” (ECF No. 284-1 at 2).
Plaintiffs argue that “[i]t is obvious that Mr. Jackson
held this Court's Order in contempt, and Mr. Jackson
should be sanctioned up to and including incarceration until
such time as Mr. Jackson agrees to provide full and complete
responses in accordance with this Court's Order.”
Id. Accordingly, plaintiffs request that the court
enter a show-cause order for a contempt hearing. Id.
the court “may impose fines or prison sentences for
contempt and enforce ‘the observation of
order'” pursuant to its inherent authority, this
authority “may only be exercised to sanction
‘bad-faith conduct, '” and “must be
exercised with restraint and discretion.” Victor
Stanley, Inc. v. Creative Pipe, Inc., 269 F.R.D. 497,
518 (D. Md. 2010) (citations omitted). Here, while plaintiffs
argue that “Mr. Jackson [sic] objections and refusal to
comply with this Court's order is clearly, blatantly, and
childishly meant to avoid his financial obligations to
Plaintiffs” (ECF No. 284-1 at 2) plaintiffs have failed
to clearly establish that Mr. Jackson acted in bad-faith,
especially in light of his pro se status.
Additionally, plaintiffs will have the opportunity to obtain
the information sought at their requested oral examination in
aid of judgment. Accordingly, plaintiffs' request is
foregoing reasons, plaintiffs' Request for Oral
Examination (ECF No. 281) is granted, plaintiffs' Motion
for Alternative Service (ECF No. 281) is denied, and
plaintiffs' Motion for Contempt and Request for
Show-Cause Hearing (ECF No. 284) ...