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Zhang v. Baidu.Com Inc.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

June 7, 2013, Decided; June 7, 2013, Filed

11 Civ. 3388 (JMF)

Opinion

 [*510]  OPINION AND ORDER

JESSE M. FURMAN, United States District Judge:

By Opinion and Order dated March 25, 2013 (the "March Opinion"), this Court dismissed Plaintiffs' complaint for failure to serve Defendants Baidu.com Inc. ("Baidu") and the People's Republic of China in light of the fact that China had declined to effect service pursuant to Article 13 of the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters, Nov. 15, 1965, 20 U.S.T. 361 (the "Hague Convention" or "Convention"), on the ground that such service would infringe its sovereignty or security. See Zhang v. Baidu.com Inc., 932 F. Supp. 2d 561, No. 11 Civ. 3388, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41735, 2013 WL 1195257 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 25, 2013). The Court stayed dismissal,  [**2] however, to allow Plaintiffs to file a motion for alternative service on Baidu pursuant to Rule 4(f)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. On April 25, 2013, Plaintiffs filed that motion, which raises the question — apparently never analyzed in detail before — whether alternative service is an option where, as here, a foreign country declined to effect service under Article 13 of the Hague Convention.

For the reasons stated below, the Court concludes that it is and that, in the circumstances presented here, service on Baidu's domestic counsel is an appropriate form of alternative service. Accordingly, the Court grants Plaintiffs' motion and gives Plaintiffs thirty days to serve Baidu's counsel in this action. In addition, the Court grants Plaintiffs 120 days to serve China pursuant to Rule 4(j)(1) and Title 28, United States Code, Section 1608(a).

BACKGROUND

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293 F.R.D. 508 *; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80772 **; 85 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 1140; 2013 WL 2458834

JIAN ZHANG et al., Plaintiffs, -v- BAIDU.COM INC. and PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, Defendants.

Prior History: Zhang v. Baidu.com Inc., 932 F. Supp. 2d 561, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41735 (S.D.N.Y., 2013)

CORE TERMS

sovereignty, cases, documents, abroad, courts, effect service, Plaintiffs', invocation, international agreement, infringe, service of process, domestic, Summons, notice

Civil Procedure, Service of Process, Methods of Service, Foreign Service, International Law, Dispute Resolution, Service of Process, Personal Delivery, Service on Corporations, Special Court Orders, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Jurisdiction Over Actions, General Overview, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Procedural Due Process, Service on Agents