United States District Court, D. Nebraska
LISA A. RABBE, Plaintiff,
GOVERNMENT NATIONAL MORTAGE ASSOCIATION, and HOMESERVICES LENDING, LLC d/b/a CBS HOME MORTGAGE, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Smith Camp Senior United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Lisa Rabbe's
Motion for Default Judgment, ECF No. 32. The Clerk of Court
entered default against Defendants Homeservices Lending, LLC
d/b/a CBS Home Mortgage (“Homeservices Lending”)
and Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie
Mae”). The Motion for Default Judgment will be denied
because Homeservices Lending and Ginnie Mae have not been
19, 2003, Rabbe obtained a home loan for $178, 589 (the
“Loan”) which was transferred to Wells Fargo,
N.A., as owner and holder. Compl., ECF No. 1 at 6-7. The Loan
was evidenced by a Promissory Note (the “Note”)
and secured by a Deed of Trust (the “Deed of
Trust”) encumbering real property located at 3108-10
North 95th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68134 (the
“Property). Id. at 2, 7. Rabbe alleges that
Homeservices Lending began foreclosure proceedings against
her, and she filed this lawsuit on December 3, 2018, against
Wells Fargo, N.A., Ginnie Mae, and Homeservices Lending.
Defendant Wells Fargo, N.A., was dismissed from this action.
See Memorandum and Order, ECF No. 30.
attempted to serve Ginnie Mae and Homeservices Lending by
certified mail. See ECF No. 12, Summons for Ginnie
Mae at 2; ECF No. 16, Summons for Homeservices Lending at 2.
Rabbe included copies of her certified mail receipts showing
that she served Homeservices Lending at 2700 Westown Parkway
in West Des Moines, Iowa, and served Ginnie Mae at 415
Seventh Street in Washington, D.C. ECF No. 12 at 3, ECF No.
16 at 3. The “green card” receipts show that
someone at the addresses signed for the letters, but do not
indicate who signed or in what capacity.
judgments are ‘not favored by the law and should be a
rare judicial act.'” Belcourt Pub. Sch. Dist.
v. Davis, 786 F.3d 653, 661 (8th Cir. 2015) (quoting
In re Jones Truck Lines, Inc., 63 F.3d 685, 688 (8th
Cir.1995)). “Put simply, there is a ‘judicial
preference for adjudication on the merits.'”
Id. (quoting Johnson v. Dayton Elec. Mfg.
Co., 140 F.3d 781, 784 (8th Cir.1998). Entry of default
judgment is only appropriate when there has been a clear
record of delay or uncooperative conduct. See United
States on v. Harre, 983 F.2d 128, 130 (8th Cir.1993);
Taylor v. City of Ballwin, 859 F.2d 1330, 1332 (8th
Cir.1988). Default judgment is not appropriate in this case
because it is not clear that Homeservices Lending and Ginnie
Mae have been properly served.
federal government corporations like Ginnie Mae, Rule 4
allows service by certified mail in certain circumstances.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(i). To properly serve a federal government
corporation using certified mail, “a party must serve
the United States and also send a copy of the summons and of
the complaint by registered or certified mail to the agency,
corporation, officer, or employee.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
4(i)(2). To properly serve the United States, a plaintiff
must first serve a copy of the summons and complaint on the
United States Attorney for the district in which the action
is brought or send a copy by registered or certified mail to
the civil-process clerk at the United States Attorney's
office. Fed. R Civ. P. 4(i)(1)(A). The plaintiff must also
send a copy of the summons and complaint “by registered
or certified mail to the Attorney General of the United
States at Washington, D.C.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(i)(1)(B).
attempted to serve Ginnie Mae by sending the summons and
complaint by certified mail to Ginnie Mae's office in
Washington, D.C. ECF No. 16 at 3. There is no evidence in the
record that Rabbe attempted to serve the United States in the
manner required by Rule 4(i). Because Rabbe has not properly
served Ginnie Mae, the Court cannot grant default judgment.
attempted service on Homeservices Lending appears
insufficient because (1) the certified mailing, containing
the summons, was addressed to a location other than
Homeservices Lending's registered office, and (2) the
record does not show that the certified mailing was accepted
by an officer, director, managing agent, or registered agent
of Homeservices Lending.
Unless otherwise provided by federal law, service upon a
domestic or foreign corporation . ...