Follow by Email

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Service of Process by E-Mail on a Foreign Defendant

In a case that was heard in the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, Judge Jeffrey S. White ordered the following:

"Although the Court does not find that the service already effectuated by Plaintiffs was improper, in an abundance of caution and considering that the WikiLeaks Defendants may be foreign  parties, the Court ORDERS Plaintiffs to re-serve the amended complaint and summons and all TRO-related papers, including this Order, on the WikiLeaks Defendants at their listed email addresses by no later than 3:00 p.m., today, February 13, 2008."

This is an example that the world we live in is getting smaller or perhaps more local.  This is in large part thanks to the power of the internet and its ability to bring things that were once far away or difficult to gain access to directly to our desktops.

The power of the internet and the technology that enables it is making easier  to communicate in ways that were not even contemplated just a few short years ago.   This power to communicate is spilling over into the world of litigation and more specifically the act of giving notice to a party of a pending action or Service of Process.  

This blog has in part called to your attention numerous examples of courts worldwide that have come to recognize that sometimes the most effective manner for providing legal notice of a pending action is by electronic means.  In the past the only alternative for effecting service on a party that could not be located was publication. Now we are seeing service by Twitter, Facebook, and email more and more frequently.  

Is this a much ado about nothing as some in positions of power in the process serving community have suggested or is this yet another example of trend that seems to be gaining momentum?  

You be the judge.