If you are not familiar with the pencil or board game of battleships, take a moment to check out the Wikipedia article. Battleships is a guessing game where one side knows where the battleships are, and the other takes blind shots until strategy helps to narrow down the possibilities.
Watching Orly Taitz trying to serve the President in his personal capacity rather reminds me of the game. The Obots know where the ship is, at least those who are attorneys, and the courts know where the ship is, but Orly Taitz seems to be taking blind shots at serving the President, and not applying much if any strategy. In the real battleships, after having missed the ship, one never makes the same guess again; this cannot be said of Taitz.
As with the battleships game, the Obots are keeping the method of serving the President in his personal capacity a secret, although this should be known to any law school graduate. Before a party can attempt to enforce a subpoena, they must file proof of service with the Court. This Orly Taitz attempted to do for a subpoena to Barack Obama in the case of Grinols v. Electoral College. Here’s the proof of service document. From the proof of service, we see that Orly Taitz took three separate shots at the battleship, one at Obama and two at his “attorneys.”
While Obama is intended to be a party of this lawsuit, there is considerable doubt as to whether he has been properly served with the complaint. Orly Taitz says that she is suing the President in his personal capacity (as a candidate), but the complaint’s proof of service she filed shows service to the US Attorney General. That’s all messed up. According to the Eastern District of California Local Rules 250(5)(c), subpoenas to parties are allowed, so I don’t think it matters at this point whether Obama is a party or a non-party.
So here are some things this layman found wrong with what Taitz did:
- The Federal Rule of Civil Procedure governing subpoenas 45(b)(1) says: “If the subpoena commands the production of documents, electronically stored information, or tangible things or the inspection of premises before trial, then before it is served, a notice must be served on each party.” The parties in this action include the Electoral College, the Congress and a bunch of other folks. I see nothing in the court record that Taitz has made the mandatory notification to all 1080 (rough estimate) parties. One might argue that Taitz’s filing of the subpoena on the Court’s ECF system was adequate notice, except that the ECF filing was made on 1/27/2012, one day after the date indicated that the service was done.
- FRCP 45(b)(2) seems to say that the subpoena can only be issued within the district (or within 100 miles of it) or within the state. Taitz “served” her subpoenas for production of documents at her law office which is not within 100 miles of where the subpoena was “served.” Service outside this area requires court authorization, which the record does not show.
- There is a question as to whether service by certified mail is sufficient. Most courts require personal service. In fact the date on the proof of service is before it is conceivable that it could have been delivered by certified mail. In any case I would think that proof of service, if allowed by mail at all, requires some documentation that the party actually received it, not that it’s “in the mail.” That’s not in the court record.
- The proof of service requires “filing with the issuing court a statement showing the date and manner of service and the names of the persons served.” While the copy mailed to President Obama has his name on it, the ones to his attorneys were addressed to “his attorney” which hardly is the “name of the person served.”