Yesterday, District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Laura Cordero of the Domestic Violence and Civil Division rules that a defendant be served a temporary protective order via text message and email after multiple attempts at the woman’s residence and workplace were unsuccessful.
ServeNow broke the story with exclusive photos (Defendant Served Temporary Protective Order via Text Message) from Torri’s Legal Services, the company that served the individual.
The defendant in question was served the protective order following claims of harassment by a man who met her on Match.com. According to the article, the man broke it off after a few dates, and the woman sent hundreds of text messages and emails, some including sexually explicit photos and messages and even a false claim of pregnancy even after the man asked the woman to stop.
Multiple attempts at the woman’s residence revealed she was likely working elsewhere, and as a government contractor she works on an Air Force base with restricted access. This led Judge Cordero to order the documents to be served over email and text messages.
While e-service, service through social media, and the integration of technology into the legal world has been a hot topic for sometime, this may be the first close look we’ve had at how service of process via text message would work, and what it would look like.
The process server did say she was surprised that she was not asked to serve the papers via certified mail (by far a more common form of substitute service), but speculates that given the evidence provided in the complaint, it was clear that email and text message were primary forms of communication for the defendant.
With the serve completed the process server says her client is ecstatic.
What do you think of this move?