A fellow blogger recently published a series of several articles which highlights some growing issues in the state regarding service by mail and alternate methods as replacement for traditional service.
One of these posts stands out as not only a concern as to where the future of process service is headed, but also as a problem for everyone who believes in the right to due process.
One of the articles references SHB 1730, which would allow service of a summons on a party to a real estate purchase and sale agreement by first-class mail. This piece completely disregards any need for due diligence.
The new rule also doesn’t require mailing by certified or registered mail, as service via mail usually does. Here is another big issue. How can there be proof of service? What’s to prevent someone from simply saying the summons was mailed? As Robin points out, there is nothing to protect the defendant’s in the case. While this is a minimal portion of the entire bill and how service can be pursued in various scenarios, that this provision even made its way into the bill is a problem.
As process servers, we need to be aware of what legislation is going on in our state and take steps to oppose any part we feel is detrimental to both our industry and to the right to due process. This is one piece of legislation which shows the types of service which could make its way into law and slowly spread to be included in other rules and service scenarios if we are not diligent in keeping an eye on the bills in our state Senate and House.