NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted August 6, 2013
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, Docket No. L-0610-10.
John Allen, appellant pro se.
Respondents have not filed a brief.
Before Judges Lihotz and Guadagno.
Plaintiff John Allen, an inmate at New Jersey State Prison (NJSP), appeals from the December 16, 2011 order of the Law Division denying his motion to set aside default, entered after the court determined he failed to present proof of service. Plaintiff also appeals from the January 20, 2012 order denying his motion for reconsideration. We affirm both orders.
On March 10, 2006, plaintiff was examined at the NJSP clinic after he complained of pain in his right arm. Six days later, plaintiff was examined in the clinic by another doctor who ordered an x-ray of plaintiff's right arm. The x-ray was negative. When plaintiff continued to complain of pain, an MRI was ordered in October 2006, which was also negative.
In 2007, plaintiff injured his left biceps and required surgery in 2008. Plaintiff claims the surgeon also examined his right biceps and told him it was a "chronic injury and irreparable."
In April 2010, plaintiff filed a complaint in the Law Division alleging malpractice, violation of his civil rights and other causes of action. Named as defendants were two of plaintiff's treating physicians, a nurse, St. Francis Medical Center and several "John Does."
In July 2010, plaintiff received a notice his complaint would be dismissed for lack of prosecution. After default was entered, plaintiff's motion to set aside the default and reinstate his complaint was denied on December 16, 2011.
Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration was denied on January 20, 2012. The order indicates the motion judge placed his reasons for denying plaintiff's motion on the record but plaintiff has failed to provide a copy of this transcript as required by Rule 2:5-3.
The record contains no proof that any of the named defendants were properly served. Service of process is inherently linked to the requirement that a court have personal jurisdiction over a defendant and is designed to protect the defendant's individual liberty interest established by the Due Process Clause. Rosa v.Araujo, 260 N.J.Super. 458, 463 (App. Div. 1992), certif. denied, 133 N.J. 434 (1993); see also Ins. Corp. ...