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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Electronic Service of Process via RPOST


Three months ago I posted an article on this Blog titled "Can you Serve Summons & Complaint by Email? " in that article I cited another instance where RPOST was ordered by a federal court as alternative means of Service of Process on a foreign defendant.  So this is hardly the first time RPost has been on the Service of Process Looking Forward radar. 

I have been watching RPost for some time for this very reason.  Does their technology pose a threat to traditional  manner of service of process?  I contend that as long as it is being used as method of service of process when all other reasonable methods have been exhausted, then my short answer is no.  It is arguable more reliable than service by publication in a newspaper.  

But RPost is worth watching.  In my prior article I wrote the following:

It is also be worth noting that RPost recently participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by the Federal Trade Commission.  The roundtable explored how changing technologies affects the ways debt collectors communicate with consumers and how emails are being used by collection agencies in the collection process.  
Now imagine if the debt collector is allowed under the FDCPA regulations to communicate with the debtors using regular email or RPost's product.  If that happens why couldn't a debt collector send a Summons to the debtor using a reliable and secure electronic channel?  The collector might say in the email I can send the summons to you by email or I can send a process server or Sheriff to serve you... You pick, but keep in mind if I send a process server I might include the cost of service in the judgment or settlement amount.  Now that might put a dent in the process serving industries pocket.
When is the process serving industry going to acknowledge that service by electronic means is not much ado about nothing?   If you listen to some in the process serving industries leadership it is clear they are either out of touch or naive.  Either way, how you as a process server remain relevant is your responsibility.  If you are waiting for your national association to step up and save the day, I submit it will be too late.

by Jeff H. Karotkin