Not a TEXTbook Serve

 Not A Textbook Serve: A Story about how Far a Process Server Will Go

Process Servers must be guilty of it with some frequency. You know what I’m talking about. The definition of Insanity is: “doing the same thing Over and Over again and expecting different results”.

That’s what went through my head while I drove to Dr. Rhinestone’s residence in Laguna Beach for the 3rd time. It was 8:12 p.m.  I had to serve him with a subpoena and no one could take the papers for him or on his behalf. I was at his Office earlier where the office manager told me Rhinestone was there until she learned that I had papers for him. I was at the house twice before, and on both occasions I believed the family members were covering for him. Why should it be any different now?

There was no question that success required me to figure out a different, non traditional way. It was three days before Christmas, and the deadline for service was in two days. There was always a way. But what was it, and was there a price?

Suddenly it clicked for me. I realized what I had to do. I pulled out my phone in the comfort of my car and began texting him. After each text I waited for him to reply, but he never did.

I wrote:

Hi Dr. Rhinestone……Good Evening

 I am a process server. But I do not have adversarial paperwork…

It is a subpoena.

As a Professional, would you please accept It?

 Service of Process is for everyone’s benefit……

Please do the right thing and honor the system that will be there for you when you need it

 I’m permitted to serve this kind’ve late, but would rather not do so….Please indicate

whether you will come to the door to accept the Papers….


We should all have a Merry Christmas and not be burdened with folk bugging you on a joyous

Holiday and/or eve


Just then I saw someone running toward my car out of the corner of my eye. It was Dr. Rhinestone who bolted from his house with such haste that he made no time to don a shirt. He was 6’3 and about 60 years old. This is the climax of the story, but I will leave the Hollywood moment to your imagination. Suffice to say I served the subpoena through a barely cracked window and left immediately thereafter.

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