Legislation/Bills Archives - Page 3 of 6 - DGR Legal

Subpoenas Now Able To Be Served By Mail in Florida

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subpoena FloridaGovernor Rick Scott of Florida signed 44 bills in to law on May 21st, one of which was SB 570, which allows service of subpoenas by United States mail on witnesses in civil traffic cases.

The law will become effective on July 1st, 2015.

The code already allowed service of subpoenas on witnesses of a criminal traffic case, a misdemeanor case, or a second or third degree felony. The subpoena must be mailed the witnesses last known address at least seven days prior to the date of the required appearance.

A witness who does not appear in response to a subpoena that was not sent by certified mail may not be held in contempt of court.

To read the full bill go here.

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Texas HB 1806 Opposed By Texas Process Server Association

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Texas process server association

Previously we published an article in reference to Texas HB1806. In an effort to publish only accurate information, we have rewritten the article to more correctly reflect the bill as well as the role of certification in Texas.

Texas HB 1806  would have opened up the ability to serve citations and court orders to any individual over 18 years of age who is not a party to suit or interested in the outcome.

Currently in Texas, process servers can only serve these in one of two ways: by special appointment on a case by case basis, which take up two weeks or more to obtain, or by becoming certified.

The certification process is currently not a requirement, but in order to stay competitive many process servers have elected to become certified. Otherwise, upon hearing service cannot be effectuated for two weeks, a client may seek a certified process server who can serve the documents as soon as they are received.

At a judiciary hearing on May 6th, the Texas Process Servers Association (TPSA) president Dennis Cromwell and Rick Keeney, from Professional Civil Process, spoke against the bill.

HB 1806 ultimately wound up failing to pass. Now that the session is over, it is unclear whether or not the bill will be reintroduced in the new session.

The proposed bill would have added in a new section which read as follows:

Sec. 30.023.  PROCESS SERVERS.  (a) Notwithstanding the  Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and except as

provided by Subsection (b), any process in a suit, including citation and other notices,

writs, orders, and other papers issued by a court, may be served by  any individual who:

(1)  is 18 years of age or older; and

(2)  is not a party to the suit or interested in the outcome of the suit.

(b)  Unless otherwise authorized by written court order, only a sheriff or constable may serve:

(1)  a citation in an action of forcible entry and detainer;

(2)  a writ that requires the actual taking of possession of a person, property, or thing; or

(3)  a writ requiring that an enforcement action be physically enforced by the person delivering

the process.

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Michigan Bill Would Allow Landlords to Serve Eviction Notices Via Email

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eviction notices via emailA bill introduced in the Michigan legislature in January, HB 4038, would allow landlords to serve eviction notices via email if authorized in a written agreement.

The current rule allows eviction notices to be served via personal service to the person in possession or to a member of household or an employee. First-class mail is also an allowable method of service. The written agreement, if accepted by tenants, would allow landlords to serve them eviction notices electronically. However, the bill would prohibit landlords from refusing to enter into leases with tenants who don’t agree to receive electronic eviction notices.

E-service has been a highly debated topic which has seen more discussion in recent years as courts have agreed to various forms of e-service, including via email, Facebook and Twitter. If other states were to follow Michigan’s example, private process servers wouldn’t be affected in every state.  For example, in New Jersey only the Sheriffs are allowed to serve evictions notices. Yet while this wouldn’t directly impact private process servers in New Jersey, there are still implications for what such a ruling might mean for the future and prevalence of e-service.

Click here to read a full copy of the bill.

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Sign and help New York Process Servers

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There are two petitions pending in New York which would greatly benefit process servers. It only take two seconds to sign and help your fellow process servers.

Make assault on a process server a felony

Click and sign: https://www.change.org/p/charles-lavine-catharine-young-pass-assembly-bill-1250-15-and-senate-bill-2991-15-to-make-assaulting-a-process-server-a-felony

 Make the DCA Log Book Obsolete

Click and sign: https://www.change.org/p/j-gary-pretlow-john-flanagan-ray-bernardo-amend-gbs-89-cc-to-reflect-current-practices?just_created=true

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ILAPPS Notes 3 Bills Which Could Affect Process Servers In Illinois

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The Illinois Association of Professional Process Servers (ILAPPS) has identified three pieces of legislation which could affect process servers in Illinois.

The three bills are as follows:

House Bill 488

This bill was introduced on January 30th and passed the House on March 12th.

House Bill 488 amends the Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security, Fingerprint Vendor, and Locksmith Act of 2004. Under this bill a licensee, interested party, or injured party successfully obtaining injunctive relief against an individual practicing without a license shall be awarded attorney’s fees and costs.

Read the full bill here.

House Bill 3161

Introduced on February 25th, the bill had its first reading on February 25th and has been assigned to the Judiciary Civil Committee.

The change in this bill would mean that in counties with a population over 3,000,000 a special process server may not be appointed if the order of protection grants the surrender of a child, the surrender of a firearm or firearm owners identification card, or the exclusive possession of a shared residence.

Read the full bill here.

Senate Bill 0863

Senate Bill 0863 introduced on February 11th and has been referred to assignments with some amendments to the rule in the Senate.

This is a copy of HB 488 and would have the same effect regarding a licensee, interested party, or injured party successfully obtaining injunctive relief against an individual practicing without a license shall be awarded attorney’s fees and costs.

Read the full bill here.

While they did not file any of this legislation, ILAPPS plans to enter a position on each of these.

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How the UIDDA Impacts New Jersey Subpoena Rules

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New Jersey adopted the Uniform Interstate Deposition and Discovery Act (UIDDA) on September 1, 2014, which involves discovery of non-parties for proceedings in other states.

The adoption of UIDDA has impacted New Jersey subpoena rules and has changed how parties issue subpoenas for either testimony or discovery in a state where the case did not originate. The aim of the UIDDA was to reduce both the cost and need to retain counsel in another state in order to serve a subpoena.

Prior to the UIDDA, there were many variances among the states regarding depositions in other states. Within New Jersey, court rules required the intervention of the court when deposing out-of-state witnesses who were not a party to the proceedings or when deposing New Jersey witnesses for another state’s proceeding.

Under this new uniform method, a litigant in a proceeding in another state can now issue a subpoena in New Jersey without retaining New Jersey counsel. This does not mean that the litigant can’t do so if they would like greater control over the timing and issuing of the subpoena, but there is no longer the legal requirement to.

Here is a paragraph from the State of New Jersey Law Revision Commission’s final report relating to the UIDDA which provides an example as to how the new process works:

“A witness in Florida needs to be deposed in preparation for a Kansas trial. Under the UIDDA, a lawyer of record for the plaintiff in the Kansas action issues a subpoena in Kansas as the lawyer routinely would issue in pending actions. That lawyer then obtains a copy of a form of subpoena from the clerk’s office in the Florida county where the witness to be deposed lives. Using the Florida subpoena form, the lawyer prepares a Florida subpoena that incorporates the terms and conditions of the Kansa subpoena. The lawyer then arranges tor the executed Kansas subpoena, along with the completed by not yet executed Florida subpoena, to be delivered to the clerk’s office in Florida. The transmittal letter advises the clerk that the Florida subpoena is being sought pursuant to the Florida statute (citing the appropriate statute or rule quoting the UIDDA). The clerk of the court issues a Florida subpoena incorporating the terms and conditions of the Kansas subpoena and a process server, in accordance with Florida law, then serves the Florida subpoena on the deponent. Appropriate filing and service fees are paid as required by Florida law.”

When choosing a New Jersey process server, make sure they are knowledgeable about these rule changes and how it impacts service.

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Federal Rule Change To Reduce Time To Serve To 90 Days

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Newly revised Federal Rules pending before the Supreme Court will mean the time permitted to serve a defendant with a summons and complaint will be reduced from 120 days to 90 days starting on December 1st, 2015.

This proposed rule change is part of a larger set of proposed Federal Rule changes called the “Duke Rules Package”. These amendments aim to “secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action”.  The proposed change relating to the time allowed to serve a summons and complaint is part of a larger focus to reduce the delay at the beginning of litigation.

If the service has not occurred in the 90 day time frame, the judge may dismiss the action.

The amendments first explored in May 2010 by the Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. Developed from then until April 2013, the changes were officially proposed on August 15th, 2013. Public comments were accepted after the official proposal through February 18th, 2014.

On September 16th, 2014 the Judicial Conference of the United States approved the amendments which are now pending the Supreme Court. Congress also needs to approve the amendments, but it’s not expected to block them.

As long as there is no congressional action, the block of rule changes including the time allowed for service will take place on December 1st, 2015.

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Georgia Process Servers Motion Against Sheriffs Denied

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The Georgia Association of Professional Process Servers (GAPPS) received some disappointing news when their Motion for Summary Judgment was denied last Friday.Georgia process server sheriff

Despite Georgia private process servers gaining the ability to serve process in addition to sheriffs as long as the sheriff of the county allowed it back in 2010, only one sheriff of the 159 in the state has done so. Despite 123 individuals getting certified since the introduction of the program, the sheriffs have effectively created a blockade for the servers.

Without the Sheriffs’ express permission, private process servers remain unable to serve.

The association and their attorneys will be appealing the decision.

To read GAPPS Motion and Brief which was filed on July 11, 2014 click here.

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Georgia Process Servers May See Removal of Sunset Clause

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Georgia process servers expect to see success in the passing of HB 289 which would remove the sunset clause from code § 9-11-4.1 relating to process servers.

This code covers certified process servers, procedure for becoming a certified process server, defining the crime of impersonating a process server and the punishment associated with impersonation. The sunset clause included in the code would mean it would be appealed effective July 1st.

For the full link to the code text click here.

HB 289 was passed by the House by a vote of 150-14 on February 20th. SB 110 which is a copy of HB 289 has also been introduced in the Senate. Sponsored by multiple Senators, the Georgia Association of Professional Process Servers feels confident the sunset clause will be removed.

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Washington Process Servers Seek Greater Protection For Social Security Numbers

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Washington process serverWashington process servers are looking to get HB 1962 passed, a bill which would add greater protection to their social security numbers.

Process servers in Washington are required to provide their social security numbers when registering as a private process server. At a House Judiciary Committee hearing tomorrow at 8:00am, HB 1962 will be heard.

So far, out of the 39 counties in Washington all but 3 protect a process server’s social security number from potential disclosure. This bill will require the remaining three to keep their social security numbers confidential and exempt from public inspection and copying.

For a full copy of the bill click here.

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