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Taking legal advice from the Secret Service

There seems to be a fundamental disagreement in philosophy between birther attorney Orly Taitz and federal judge Morris C. England, Jr. regarding how to serve the President of the United States with a complaint in a lawsuit. Judge England seems to be stubbornly insisting that Taitz follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and lacks the flexibility to consider alternative legal authority, such as a remark by a Secret Service agent.

Taitz previously moved for an expedited default judgment against Obama because he failed to respond within the required time to the original complaint (ignoring the fact that she had nullified that complaint by filing an amended complaint). Judge England denied that motion because the Court Record shows no proper service of the President, nor service of anyone with the amended complaint.

Taitz, true to form, won’t take no for an answer, and asks for reconsideration [link to PDF at Taitz web site], arguing that her service of the President in his personal capacity was proper because the Secret Service said so. Taitz’ process server recounts [link to PDF at Taitz web site] that when he showed up at the White House:

I was told by the Secret Service detail at the entrance that Mr. Obama refuses to accept service of process at his residence and I need to serve him through the Department of Justice/U.S. Attorneys’ Office.

I doubt that the Secret Service detail knew in what capacity the process server was attempting to serve the President. Most suits against Obama are in his official capacity, and the advice from the Secret Service would be correct in that case.

A real lawyer wouldn’t be so stupid as to rely on what some Secret Service agent said for legal advice. A real lawyer would read the law.

Read the original order denying default judgment:

Grinols Order Denying Default by Kevin Davidson

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28 Responses to Taking legal advice from the Secret Service

  1. avatar
    Andrew Morris March 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    I doubt Orly’s concentration span extends to reading beyond the first line, and she’ll probably get even that wrong. But from a practical point of view, the rules do make it somewhere between extremely difficult and impossible to serve the President in a personal capacity. However, even if she does succeed, Jones v Clinton makes it unlikely that a case like this will be heard till 2017. And while their goal was to protect corporations, SCOTUS has set such narrow limits on standing that even then her case has no chance, even if everythign she alleges is true.

  2. avatar
    Scott-RS March 13, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    I don’t know which I doubt more – that a Secret Service agent would proffer such advice in the first place, or that Orly is accurately reporting what (a) Secret Service agent actually said. Orly’s not exactly renown or honesty or accuracy.

  3. avatar
    John Reilly March 13, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Three points:

    First, as the Judge has noted, there is no proof of any service of the amended complaint on file. Get a clue. The Judge is really going to insist on seeing a proof of service on someone.

    Second, leave the papers with the secret service agent and claim that such service was the best one could do. Then file an affidavit to that effect. Maybe it works. Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe it gets the Judge to get the U. S. Attorney to solve the problem, much like Judge Carter did. But wandering away without filing a proof of service leaves Dr. Taitz without any filed proof of service. Not smarter than the average fifth grader. Not even as smart as a first grader.

    Third, Dr. Taitz has started talking about litigation involving Sens. Cruz and Rubio. She is not going away. Throwing flour on her will not work. If I could pass a note to Jane Fonda about her I would.

  4. avatar
    Bob March 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    If you haven’t already noticed, Orly will just say anything.

  5. avatar
    Reality Check March 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    Judge England spelled out the process in explicit detail of how to accomplish service. Even I could do it and IANALBIROCT. 😆

    PS: Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all at OCT. I love the green.

  6. avatar
    john March 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    A Secret Service Agent should be knowledgeable about the laws regarding threats to the POTUS including those of a civil lawsuit nature. The Agent’s advice is credible. I believe Orly did serve Obama through the US Attorney. Obama has been served. Judge England and Obots are just throwing lots of legal marlarky in effort to impede the path to justice.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Let’s see…

    1. John believes …

    2. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure say …

    I think I will pick what’s behind door #2 Monty.

    john: I believe Orly did serve Obama through the US Attorney. Obama has been served.

  8. avatar
    Jim March 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    john:
    A Secret Service Agent should be knowledgeable about the laws regarding threats to the POTUS including those of a civil lawsuit nature.

    WHAT??? Why? A civil lawsuit is no threat to the Presidency. That’s really reaching John, and not what we pay the Secret Service for. Why doesn’t she just contact the President’s personal lawyer and get it done?

  9. avatar
    Arthur March 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    You might be a birther, if you call following the rules “legal marlarky” (sic).

    john: Judge England and Obots are just throwing lots of legal marlarky in effort to impede the path to justice.

  10. avatar
    DaveH March 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    As Doc C pointed out in the article, the Secret Service would most likely think that the President was being sued in his official capacity. Perhaps had Orly made it clear to the process server that he was to be served in his personal capacity, the process server would have picked up the phone and called Obama’s attorney at the White House and that attorney would have accepted service.

    A real attorney would have done what the judge outlined in his order denying the default. She didn’t have to use the process server first. She could have mailed the subpoena certified mail.

    Orly is the only person that is screwing up her own lawsuits.

    john:
    A Secret Service Agent should be knowledgeable about the laws regarding threats to the POTUS including those of a civil lawsuit nature.The Agent’s advice is credible.I believe Orly did serve Obama through the US Attorney.Obama has been served.Judge England and Obots are just throwing lots of legal marlarky in effort to impede the path to justice.

  11. avatar
    Rickey March 13, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    Jim: WHAT???Why?A civil lawsuit is no threat to the Presidency.That’s really reaching John, and not what we pay the Secret Service for.Why doesn’t she just contact the President’s personal lawyer and get it done?

    That would be my advice. Call Obama’s personal attorney, explain that you have a Summons and Complaint to serve, and ask the attorney to accept service on behalf of Obama.

    I believe that his personal attorney is still Judith Corley. She shouldn’t be difficult to find.

  12. avatar
    Rickey March 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    john:
    A Secret Service Agent should be knowledgeable about the laws regarding threats to the POTUS including those of a civil lawsuit nature.The Agent’s advice is credible.I believe Orly did serve Obama through the US Attorney.Obama has been served.Judge England and Obots are just throwing lots of legal marlarky in effort to impede the path to justice.

    Orly served the U,S, Attorney with the original Complaint. Even if that service was valid (and it wasn’t), it would make no difference because Orly subsequently filed an Amended Complaint. The Amended Complaint makes the original Complaint null and void.

    Orly can’t proceed with her lawsuit against Obama until she effects proper service of the Amended Complaint. Apparently she hasn’t served any parties with the Amended Complaint, which is par for the course with Orly.

    If you want to travel down the path to justice, you first have to demonstrate that you know how to drive.

  13. avatar
    Birther Weary March 13, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    I believe that his personal attorney is still Judith Corley. She shouldn’t be difficult to find.

    Even if the madwoman knows this, she’ll still spell her name wrong a dozen different ways, then send her FMs out to harass every person whose name is even remotely similar. That’s the Orly way.

  14. avatar
    Yoda March 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    A rational lawyer, heck a rational person, would have done one of two things, the first would be to actually effectuate service in accordance with the rules. The second would be, if the lawyer believed that the defendant was actively avoiding service, to file a motion to allow for alternative service. But not our Orly, god bless her soul, she does the one thing that is asking the court to do something completely impossible.

    Not only is she asking the court to deem her service valid (or to waive service altogether, frankly, I am not sure which), she is asking the Court to impose a judgment on a party which the Court has said was not served. Even if by the longest stretch of anyone’s imagination, the Court reverses itself and says “ok, in YOUR case, we will use a special Orlylaw rule and pretend that you effectuated service, even though you didn’t”, it would STILL be required to say, “We can’t give a default because the defendant didn’t know he was served, because, you know, you really didn’t effectuate service. It would be unfair to grant a motion for a default under such circumstances. Defendant is granted 20 days to file an answer”.

    And that is putting aside the fact that Court couldn’t grant a default a default judgment in a case where it already indicated that it did not have subject matter jurisdiction, nor could it enter a default judgment for failing to answer the original complaint when the amended complaint was filed by not served.

    I know that there was a lengthy discussion on Orly’s competency as a lawyer, but I think we should focus more on her mental competency at this point. A motion like the one she filed is a complete effort in futility and is clearly frivolous. This goes beyond a lack of attention to detail and is reflective of severe cognitive problems.

  15. avatar
    J.D. Sue March 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Funny how she insists that a Court must order a default if/when the time expires, as if the Plaintiff has some right to a default judgment and the Judge has no discretion. If that were true, I sure would have won a lot of cases easily, instead of having to actually litigate. It’s been my experience that the most handy thing about a motion for default is that it gets the defendant finally to show up in court, after blowing off a properly served complaint. Sometimes the defendant waits until after a default judgment is rendered to show up on defendant’s motion to vacate the default. If Taitz has some legal authority to support her proposition that there is a right to a default judgment then I sure would like to see it, but of course she cites nothing. I guess that is because, as any lawyer knows, it is axiomatic that default judgments are not favored in the law.

  16. avatar
    G March 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Whether she makes some of her legal mistakes intentionally or not, I don’t know. But regardless, I am convinced that she is clearly mentally ill and has certain severe, cognitive problems, as you noted…

    Yoda: I know that there was a lengthy discussion on Orly’s competency as a lawyer, but I think we should focus more on her mental competency at this point. A motion like the one she filed is a complete effort in futility and is clearly frivolous. This goes beyond a lack of attention to detail and is reflective of severe cognitive problems.

  17. avatar
    Thinker March 13, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    Several birfers have tried this. The Secret Service will not allow them leave the papers. Remember Chris Strunk’s tale of how he tried to serve Obama at his home in Chicago?

    John Reilly:
    Second, leave the papers with the secret service agent

  18. avatar
    sfjeff March 13, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    john: A Secret Service Agent should be knowledgeable about the laws regarding threats to the POTUS including those of a civil lawsuit nature. The Agent’s advice is credible. I believe Orly did serve Obama through the US Attorney. Obama has been served. Judge England and Obots are just throwing lots of legal marlarky in effort to impede the path to justice.

    Ever get the impression that John just lives in a different world than the rest of us?

  19. avatar
    Northland10 March 13, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    If we were to ignore the mootness issue caused by her First Amended Complaint, I am not sure what a default would even give her (besides the adulation of her masses). There is nothing in the original complaint that requires anything from the President. The closest is declaring Obama ineligible, which Obama cannot do. The best she would get is that he could not defend himself or present evidence. She already had that opportunity and still lost. Everything else is directed at the other defendants.

    Again, Orly is defeated by Orly. It was no contest.

  20. avatar
    Northland10 March 13, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    When the California 4th Appellate stated she was in default in Taitz v Obama and Taitz v Dunn, she finally paid attention. The difference is that she was the Appellant defaulting on her own cases.

    J.D. Sue:
    Funny how she insists that a Court must order a default if/when the time expires, as if the Plaintiff has some right to a default judgment and the Judge has no discretion.If that were true, I sure would have won a lot of cases easily, instead of having to actually litigate.It’s been my experience that the most handy thing about a motion for default is that it gets the defendant finally to show up in court, after blowing off a properly served complaint.Sometimes the defendant waits until after a default judgment is rendered to show up on defendant’s motion to vacate the default. If Taitz has some legal authority to support her proposition that there is a right to a default judgment then I sure would like to see it, but of course she cites nothing.I guess that is because, as any lawyer knows, it is axiomatic that default judgments are not favored in the law.

  21. avatar
    G March 13, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    Yes. He’s from the Bizarro world, apparently.

    sfjeff: Ever get the impression that John just lives in a different world than the rest of us?

  22. avatar
    Kiwiwriter March 13, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    sfjeff: Ever get the impression that John just lives in a different world than the rest of us?

    All Birthers live in a nice little house, right next to reality.

  23. avatar
    AlCum March 13, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    john:
    A Secret Service Agent should be knowledgeable about the laws regarding threats to the POTUS including those of a civil lawsuit nature.The Agent’s advice is credible.I believe Orly did serve Obama through the US Attorney.Obama has been served.Judge England and Obots are just throwing lots of legal marlarky in effort to impede the path to justice.

    You’re wrong on all counts. Secret Service does not give legal advice and there is no expectation that an agent would know Rules of Civil Procedure.

  24. avatar
    JoZeppy March 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    john:
    A Secret Service Agent should be knowledgeable about the laws regarding threats to the POTUS including those of a civil lawsuit nature.The Agent’s advice is credible.

    While I would have more faith in the legal advice of a random secret service agent than Orly’s, no, there is no reason to think any Secret Service agent would know the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and what proper service is. Odds are pretty high is is not an attorney. And even in the very remote chance that he may be an attorney, he isn’t being paid to give legal advice, nor does reliance on his words change the impact of the rules of civil procedure. He could tell you to drop it off at the garbage can on the corner, and the President will personlly fish it out at 2:03 AM. Comes down to the fact that he told a process server how to serve the President in his official capacity as President, not an indivual. When push comes to shove, if anyone should know how to effect proper service, it should be an actual process server.

    john: I believe Orly did serve Obama through the US Attorney. Obama has been served.

    If the President was served through the US Attorney, then he was served as President of the United States, which gives him more time to respond, than if served as an individual. All of which became moot when Orly filed the Amended complaint, which has not been served on anyone.

    john: Judge England and Obots are just throwing lots of legal marlarky in effort to impede the path to justice.

    That stuff you call “legal marlarky” is actually the law. It applies to everyone equally. The rest of us in the legal community seem to get by quite well complying with it. I’m sorry you feel requiring one really bad attorney to comply with the law that the rest of the legal community has to follow somehow impedes justice.

  25. avatar
    Kiwiwriter March 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    John, after reading your material on this blog at considerable length, I have come to this conclusion:

    You’re as good a lawyer as Orly Taitz herself.

    So why are you wasting your time arguing here, instead of compiling your documents and paperwork, and hiking down to the Federal Courthouse in your neighborhood, and suing President Obama personally, representing yourself pro se?

    Try your legal, rhetorical, and forensic skills out on the American legal system, and see if you can get any further than she did.

    We’ll all be watching…I’ll bring the popcorn.

  26. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG March 14, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    Kiwiwriter:
    John, after reading your material on this blog at considerable length, I have come to this conclusion:

    You’re as good a lawyer as Orly Taitz herself.

    So why are you wasting your time arguing here, instead of compiling your documents and paperwork, and hiking down to the Federal Courthouse in your neighborhood, and suing President Obama personally, representing yourself pro se?

    Try your legal, rhetorical, and forensic skills out on the American legal system, and see if you can get any further than she did.

    We’ll all be watching…I’ll bring the popcorn.

    I’ll buy THAT for a dollar!

  27. avatar
    Kiwiwriter March 14, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG: I’ll buy THAT for a dollar!

    I’ll be selling scorecards, too…can’t tell the players without a scorecard!

  28. avatar
    The Magic M March 15, 2013 at 5:26 am #

    JoZeppy: When push comes to shove, if anyone should know how to effect proper service, it should be an actual process server.

    Especially since SDPS pride themselves with their knowledge about how to serve “unservable” recipients, including a case story of how they served some guy who used to hide behind walls of bodyguards at some posh club…
    Hard to believe they wouldn’t know how to serve the President as an individual (and I don’t think they’d have to sneak into the WH, dress up as a Secret Service agent and find their way into the Oval Office James Bond style to do that).