Singer Ed Sheeran & Other UK Defendants Dismissed From Case, For Now, For Failure To Timely Serve

Griffin v. Sheeran et al., No. 16-cv-6309 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 2, 2017) (Doc. 51).

Plaintiff was only able to serve two US-based defendants, notwithstanding the Court's prior order extending the time to complete service on the international defendants, and accordingly the Court dismissed the complaint (without prejudice) against all of the defendants -- including Ed Sheeran -- except for the two US-based Defendants who had been served (Warner Music Group and Atlantic Recording).  There was an additional US-based defendant (Sony ATV) that plaintiff did not even try to serve within Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m)'s 90-day deadline (or the Court-granted extension), and the Court dismissed the case against that defendant.  Nor was any attempt made to serve certain of the UK-based defendants within the 90-day window.  Of the remaining UK-defendants, the Court dismissed the case under Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(f)'s "flexible due diligence" standard.

Foxy Brown - Gotta Serve Somebody

Raymond v. Marchand [p/k/a Foxy Brown], No. 13413/08, 2/2/09 N.Y.L.J. "Decision of Interest" (Sup.Ct., Kings Co. decided Jan. 23, 2009) - ordering a traverse hearing on the issue of service of process.

Hip Hop artist Foxy Brown moved to vacate a default judgment entered against her. The complaint alleged defendant assaulted plaintiff and criminal charges were filed against defendant. Upon appearing in Supreme Court on the criminal charges, plaintiff alleged Foxy Brown was served when she was leaving the courthouse. Foxy Brown denied the allegation, arguing she was never served with legal papers. The court noted the process server's affidavit did not address the manner of service, and that the facts surrounding the service of process as presented by both parties was "so unclear as to raise a question" of the validity of the service. Also, though courts look unfavorably on service of civil process in any part of the courthouse building, it was not unlawful to serve a defendant in a courthouse unless it was done in a manner that caused a disturbance to court proceeding. Where service was allegedly made outside the courthouse, there was no such claim, but ordered a traverse hearing on the issue of service of process.