Electronic Service of Process Archives - Page 2 of 2 - DGR Legal

Is E-Filing Killing Courier Service?

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The courier service industry in New Jersey especially has noticed a marked decline in recent years.  There are a number of factors that have caused this, most notably e-filing, but despite the dip it is apparent that courier service is still here for a while to come.

The use of e-filing has become even more prominent within the past several years, particularly with the introduction of the JEFIS system.  E-filing was designed to streamline court processes as well as reduce the postal fees and paper expenditures related to filing court documents.  Currently the District Courts and Bankruptcy Court all utilize e-filing on a regular basis for all cases while the Special District Court utilizes the JEFIS system for cases with DC docket numbers. In July 2010 the JEFIS system was expanded to include foreclosures to accommodate the 200% increase in filings since 2005, although not all foreclosure firms are mandated to use the JEFIS system.

The system does not come with any fees and while this is all great news to attorneys and other legal professionals, those in the courier service industry have felt its impact in a different way. JEFIS even allows court notices to be delivered electronically to attorneys, even further reducing the need for messenger service.

So where does this leave courier service within New Jersey?

There are still many divisions which do not utilize this service and the fact is the electronic filing systems only provide a return if there is a high enough volume to justify the court’s expenditures and expectations.  Numbers of these electronic systems across the country have started off with a bang only to fail when they did not receive the volume they expected.  Mandatory e-filing may be the only way to ensure this system succeeds.

Until that time, a number of attorneys are reluctant to change their practices and would prefer to continue with courier service and the previous ways of filing. While the first year of the introduction of an e-filing system tends to be slightly tumultuous and capabilities of the support staff for JEFIS may not be adequate for a firm’s needs, courier service is dependable – particularly DGR’s New Jersey courier service! (LINK)  The customer support and level of personal connection connected with messenger service will continue to be a boon to the courier service industry in New Jersey as the e-filing system continues to expand in the coming years.




Electronic Service of Process: Teppler Review

Posted by | Electronic Service of Process | No Comments

The issue of electronic service of process is considered by many process servers to be the most significant threat to our industry.  In defense of personal service, Attorney Steven W. Teppler of Edelson McGuire recently published an interesting article: “The Continuing Relevance of Personal Service of Process”. Teppler’s article highlights the fundamentals and rights behind service, the shortcomings of electronic service and the reasons why personal service should still be the first choice in regard to service of process.

While this article certainly is significant to lawyers, it is even more so to process servers and it’s nice to see a well thought out piece really taking a look at the reasons why electronic service of process shouldn’t be implemented as the first step in serving process.   The article emphasizes the importance of the 14th Amendment and of an individuals’ right to be given notice and to have adequate time to respond.  Without such service, the court does not establish their claim and therefore cannot enforce any judgment.  Notifying someone through Facebook or Twitter does not necessarily fulfill those requirements if this was the primary method of service.

There are exceptions where alternate service is necessary after various other methods have been attempted.  As the Whois Subcommittee of the Internet Committee of the International Trademark Association pointed out, there are situation where there are “fictitiously” owned websites where even substituted service would be nearly impossible. In this case there is practically no other way to execute service.

Teppler also points out the problem associated with the currently implemented requirement that all electronic service of process utilize a certifying authority.  The US Postal Service’s Electronic Post Mark (EPM) is an example of such but this authority does not prove that an email was sent or received – its sole purpose is to confirm the time of data creation.  With this could be useful in terms of patents or trademarks, it does not reflect whether or not due process actually occurred.  So then how does one prove that an individual was served at a certain time?

The area of electronic service of process is relatively new territory for process servers but as technology continues to advance we will see even more cases where this issue arises.  Being able to take a stand on these issues is going to begin to be even more important – again, another important reason to be a part of your state association!