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Service: a birther game of battleships

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.”

BattleShipMiss

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19 Responses to Service: a birther game of battleships

  1. avatar
    US Citizen January 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Orly’s battleship was sunk long ago.
    Now she’s just treading water, waiting for the sharks.

  2. avatar
    misha marinsky January 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    US Citizen: Now she’s just treading water, waiting for the sharks.

    Hurry up, already.

  3. avatar
    Thinker January 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Well, at least she’s not sending her piles of crap to Michael Jablonski in Georgia anymore.

  4. avatar
    Greenfinches January 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    US Citizen: Orly’s battleship was sunk long ago.
    Now she’s just treading water, waiting for the sharks.

    I think she scuttled her own ship, in all honesty………………

  5. avatar
    john January 30, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    If Orly really wants to get service right, she should gets a handful of supporters together and have them serve the papers on virtually any individual that could related to Obama. In addition, video and photo documentation all needs to be submitted to court as evidence of service.

  6. avatar
    DaveH January 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    I think most of the subpoenas are purely for show to her flying monkeys. If she really thinks that she’ll ever get to depose President Obama in her office, she is more delusional than I thought.

  7. avatar
    Majority Will January 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    john:
    If Orly really wants to get service right, she should gets a handful of supporters together and have them serve the papers on virtually any individual that could related to Obama.In addition, video and photo documentation all needs to be submitted to court as evidence of service.

    That’s just adorable.

  8. avatar
    DaveH January 30, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Better yet, she should just read the rules. She seems to be the only person that is incapable of serving President Obama with a lawsuit or subpoena properly.

    john: If Orly really wants to get service right, she should gets a handful of supporters together and have them serve the papers on virtually any individual that could related to Obama. In addition, video and photo documentation all needs to be submitted to court as evidence of service.

  9. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    Ah, we may have to cut Orly Taitz some slack! She’s not the only attorney of note that has problems with service. Larry Klayman seems to have bungled serving OPEC in the case of Freedom Watch v. OPEC.

    DaveH: Better yet, she should just read the rules. She seems to be the only person that is incapable of serving President Obama with a lawsuit or subpoena properly.

  10. avatar
    Thinker January 30, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    A couple of the pro se birfoons also had trouble serving the President. Mr. Lamb in Alaska asked the court if he could serve the President via Twitter because he tried to send his material to the Obama campaign headquarters and they returned it saying that for security reasons, they don’t accept unsolicited packages. That guy in Vermont also had a tale of woe associated with trying to serve the President, even with Mario Apuzzo’s help. I don’t think Obama responded in any capacity in either of those cases.

  11. avatar
    Dave January 30, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    The linked article has a footnote which I fear may be offensive to birthers.

    So, ^C^V:

    ‘Klayman, incidentally, is a cartoonish character, and perhaps one of the “carnival barkers” whom President Obama decried when, in 2011, he released a copy of his his “long-form” birth certificate in an attempt to finally put to bed the so-called “birther” conspiracy theories—theories that claimed, outlandishly, that President Obama was ineligible to be President for various obviously false reasons.’

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Ah, we may have to cut Orly Taitz some slack! She’s not the only attorney of note that has problems with service. Larry Klayman seems to have bungled serving OPEC in the case of Freedom Watch v. OPEC.

  12. avatar
    Rickey January 31, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    john:
    If Orly really wants to get service right, she should gets a handful of supporters together and have them serve the papers on virtually any individual that could related to Obama.In addition, video and photo documentation all needs to be submitted to court as evidence of service.

    That’s a great idea, John! Then we can get Orly sanctioned for harassment and abuse of process.

  13. avatar
    Dave January 31, 2013 at 12:18 am #

    You’re overlooking a much simpler approach: she could hire a lawyer.

    john:
    If Orly really wants to get service right, she should gets a handful of supporters together and have them serve the papers on virtually any individual that could related to Obama.In addition, video and photo documentation all needs to be submitted to court as evidence of service.

  14. avatar
    Rickey January 31, 2013 at 12:18 am #

    I’m not up to date on the Federal rules, but most jurisdictions allow alternate service after a good faith effort to make personal service is unsuccessful.

    In New York State courts you can use alternate service after three unsuccessful attempts to effect personal service. We call it “nail & mail” – after the third unsuccessful attempt, the Summons & Complaint, Order to Show Cause, subpoena, etc. can be affixed to the door of the subject’s residence or place of business with another copy sent by certified mail. The subject does not actually have to receive the documents – I have had people refuse to accept certified mail, for example, but that makes no difference because you can’t dodge service by refusing to accept your mail.

  15. avatar
    aesthetocyst January 31, 2013 at 12:42 am #

    Dave:
    You’re overlooking a much simpler approach: she could hire a lawyer.

    She could try. The list of birfer-friendly lawyers is very short; few can afford to literally waste time (and, in the case of sanctions, money).

    She’s the only lawyer willing to take her case. Whether she can afford herself remains to be seen.

  16. avatar
    US Citizen January 31, 2013 at 4:47 am #

    Well Orly is not treating this like it’s a game.
    And let’s be honest- it’s not a game.

    A game is where both sides have an equal chance of winning.

  17. avatar
    The Magic M January 31, 2013 at 6:18 am #

    john: In addition, video and photo documentation all needs to be submitted to court as evidence of service.

    Didn’t Van Irion do this when he “served” the Democratic Party? Record on video how he handed over documents to some perplexed intern at their office, then dashed away as somebody else came running after him to tell him where to shove it? How did that work out as “proof of service”, john?

    Dr. Conspiracy: She’s not the only attorney of note that has problems with service.

    Somehow *all* birther attorneys seem to share that condition. (I’m not sure if Apuzzo ever tried to serve someone, he may actually know how to do it.) Coincidence? Or rather a concerted effort to deliberately botch service in order to make it appear their cases were thrown out “because the evil regime dodged and evaded our attempts”?

  18. avatar
    BrianH January 31, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    I’d have to double-check the rules, but I think in this case she can effect alternate service of process by affixing a copy of the subpoena on the gravestone of Harrison J. Bounel. The so-called “SSN alter-ego equivalency rule.”

    Rickey:
    I’m not up to date on the Federal rules, but most jurisdictions allow alternate service after a good faith effort to make personal service is unsuccessful.

  19. avatar
    y_p_w February 1, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Rickey:
    I’m not up to date on the Federal rules, but most jurisdictions allow alternate service after a good faith effort to make personal service is unsuccessful.

    In New York State courts you can use alternate service after three unsuccessful attempts to effect personal service. We call it “nail & mail” – after the third unsuccessful attempt, the Summons & Complaint, Order to Show Cause, subpoena, etc. can be affixed to the door of the subject’s residence or place of business with another copy sent by certified mail. The subject does not actually have to receive the documents – I have had people refuse to accept certified mail, for example, but that makes no difference because you can’t dodge service by refusing to accept your mail.

    Similar in California. I remember helping someone with the process.

    One possibility after three attempts at personal service is to leave the papers with a “responsible adult”. Another is to leave a copy at the front door and mailing another. However, the problem would be that someone served that way legally has longer to respond depending on the type of case.

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