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Friday, April 22, 2011

Alternative Service via Facebook, Twitter or other Social Networks suggested by the Utah State Courts.

Recently I was poking around on the internet and happened upon the Utah State Court website that provides information on the service of process.   This site is easily the most user friendly and accessible resource for information about all the definitions of and all the acceptable forms of Service of Process in Utah.  I wish all state courts had their information so well organized.  

One the sections that caught my attention was the description of Alternative Service URCP 4(d)(4).  It read as follows:  

If you cannot find the person to be served after using reasonable diligence, or if you can show the court that the person is avoiding service, you can ask permission to serve the complaint and summons (or other document required to be served under URCP 4) by some other means.

You will need to file a motion asking permission to use this kind of service and a statement describing your attempts to find and serve the person.  

So far very standard stuff, one of the more interesting parts of the Alternative Service section is link to a resource page to find people also on the state courts website.  That resource page offers approximately 15 suggested links on how to find someone “Finding People for Service of Process”.   

But the section that I thought was most interesting was suggestions for the types of alternative service that you could pursue.  The suggestions ranged from Publication to Service via a social network, such as Facebook; service via a text, service via notification to a phone number; or service to a Twitter account.  

Those of you who have followed my postings on this blog know I have provided many examples of service via alternative means from all over the world.  Until now I had never seen a state court provide suggestions for alternative service that specifically called out Facebook, Twitter, Text and other social media outlets.  

It gets better; the Utah State Courts website even offers a blank Proof of Service that includes the following:

I communicating to the person named above by:

Social Network 
(such as Facebook)                                

Text message


posted by Jeff Karotkin