"You've Been Served" on Facebook!

Minnesota Judge Kevin S. Burke authorized service of process on an ex-husband by “email, Facebook, MySpace, or any other social networking site.” He also noted the traditional way to complete service by publication (posted in a legal newspaper that nobody reads) is antiquated and prohibitively expensive.

It’s been documented that some people who avoid personal service actually update their Facebook profile on a daily basis. If this is the case, then why not use this less expensive and more effective manner to communicate legal notice?

After all, will someone really see a notice nailed to a door of a residence they haven’t live in for weeks or months? Will they read a legal notice published in an obscure legal newspaper? Probably not. But the chances are pretty good they will see a notice posted on their Facebook wall or direct messaged to them via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google Plus. This idea becomes even more attractive when you consider the fact that some programs allow for confirmation that your electronic message has been sent, received and opened (like certified snail mail).

Because it can cost our clients hundreds and even thousands of dollars to serve a party who is intentionally avoiding legal process, we think the time is now to help our clients save money and to use electronic and social media networks for service of process purposes involving “difficult” defendants. What are your thoughts?

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