Service overseas

The plaintiff in Lozano v. Bosdet did not serve a British defendant within the 120 days of Fed. R. Civ. P. 4, or a later extension by the district court.  No. 11-60737 (Aug. 31, 2012).  The Fifth Circuit, noting “that statutory interpretation is a ‘holistic endeavor,'” applied a “flexible due-diligence” standard to find that dismissal was not warranted, especially since a refiled suit would likely be time-barred.  Id. at 7, 9.  The Court aligned itself with the Seventh Circuit and rejected different readings of Rule 4(f) in the international context by the Ninth Circuit (unlimited time) and Second Circuit (120-day limit excused only if service is attempted in the foreign country), noting that it did not wish to require “immediate resort to the Hague Convention or other international methods.”  Id. at 5-6.

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