Olivia Wilde was on stage this week discussing an upcoming film when she received a mysterious envelope from someone in the front row. According to various reports, the contents were custody papers from her ex-fiance, Jason Sudeikis, with whom she shares two children. Wilde did not blink after opening the papers, which were marked “personal and confidential”, however, the incident raised a number of concerns.
The person who served the papers obtained entry into CinemaCon, a star-studded film industry gathering in Las Vegas. In addition, why did the person choose such a public moment to deliver the documents to Wilde? The representative of Sudeikis, star of Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso, stated that Sudeikis was unaware that the papers would be served in such a manner.
“Mr Sudeikis had no prior knowledge of the time or place where the envelope would be delivered, as this is up to the process serving company involved, and he would never endorse the manner in which the envelope was served.” stated the spokesperson.
According to Ken Hastings, president of Temecula, California-based Hastings Legal Services, this is not a first. It is true that such public incidents have been reported before by celebrity gossip outlet TMZ with great glee. As an example, an audience member served legal papers to Ciara during her performance in 2013. After a few years, Tyga was attending a sneaker release party when someone approached him to have him sign a few boxes. He handed him some papers and posed for a picture.
According to video posted on the site, Britney Spears received documents as she left a medical facility. In addition, Dr. Dre was served divorce papers just days after attending the funeral of his grandmother last year.
According to People magazine, David Glass served baseball player Steve Garvey a few decades ago. As a result, he was always hiding, always staying inside. This seminar was going to be attended by him, and we found out that he would be speaking at it.
At the time, my boss had our process server purchase a ticket, attend the event, and give the ticket to them on stage – basically the same as here. It is not something I would have approved, but my boss approved it.”
According to Hastings, whether what happened to Wilde was appropriate would depend on whether it was necessary to serve the papers onstage – for instance, if the defendant appeared to be evading service.
According to NPR, a process server in the Las Vegas area holds a similar view. “I have never come across a client or been involved in a serve where this would be the first thing we do,” Bill Falkner said. According to him, it was the most public incident he was aware of. Process service refers to the process in which papers are served on a recipient in order to initiate a legal proceeding. The rules are relatively liberal in states with an abundance of celebrity stars, such as California and New York.
Generally, adults are allowed to deliver documents, as long as they are not parties to the litigation. Therefore, you could have your best friend deliver the papers for you. According to California law, papers can be served at a party’s home, workplace, or anywhere else on the street.
Do you have any information regarding the refusal of the recipient to accept the documents? No need to worry: They can be left on the ground in front of him or her. A person who tears up or throws away the papers is still considered to have served, according to the state’s judicial branch.
Alternatively, you can hire a process server, an individual who serves legal documents. According to Hastings, this eliminates some of the legal headaches associated with the process. According to him, the recipient must prove they were not served if a process server performs the task, although the rules governing the whole process vary by state.
Process servers are skilled at tracking down individuals. “We skip traces on occasion. We conduct stakeouts. In addition to what private investigators do, we perform a wide range of services as well, says Hastings. Can you compare it to the movies, where characters use all sorts of schemes to catch their prey? According to Hastings, “The movies make a mistake by showing us dressing up in different uniforms to do things.”.
However, going to great lengths is not unusual – for instance, early in his career, Hastings scouted a condo in downtown Los Angeles to ensure the subject was inside. Therefore, we were able to see the unit from eye level,” he explains, before attempting to gain access to the building.
Hastings says that once you reach the target, “you must identify the individual, determine the general nature of the documents, and establish proximity to the individual”. Therefore, you might not hear the familiar refrain from the movies: “You’ve been served.” This is especially true in California, home of Hollywood.