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List of Electronic Service of Process Cases

Electronic service of process has changed the landscape of the civil process serving industry by providing new methods to serve legal documents to individuals, who in most cases have been otherwise elusive. In the table below, we've researched and included instances in which electronic service of process was used.

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E-Service Timeline and Cases

Date
Court Location
State
Case
Type of E-Service
Description
Link
1980
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
NY
New England Merchants National Bank v. Iran Power Generation & Transmissions Co
Telex Message
Essentially, old-school fax/text messaging machine - approved by court
August 15, 1996
Massachusetts Federal District Court C
MA
Greebel v FTP Software Inc.
Online PressRelease
FTP next contends that Greebel's press release on Business Wire failed to satisfy the PSLRA's publication requirement. As such, it seems clear that the mere fact that Business Wire arrives at a print publication via an electronic signal, rather that in the manner of a traditional wire service, does not disqualify it as a "wire service" within the meaning of the statute.
2000
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia
GA
Broadfoot v. Diaz
Email
The dispute centered around the trustee of International Telemedia Associates, Inc. (Broadfoot), who was seeking damages for mismanagement by Diaz, a former officer and director of the company. However, despite the best efforts of the trustee, Diaz could not be located to effectuate properly service of process. Service by email was upheld.
2001
ED VA
VA
Shri Ram Chandra Mission v. Sahajmarg.org
Email, mail, and publish
Must send a notice by postal mail and e-mail and must publish notice of the action as the court may direct promptly after filing the action. In this case, the court ordered plaintiff to publish notice of the lawsuit in “India Abroad, Indian Abroad Online, and the Washington Post—each at least once in the next two weeks.
March 20, 2002
United States Court of Appeals For the Ninth Circuit
CA
Rio Properties Inc. v. Rio International Interlink
Email
Appeal to discredit previous e-service; court upheld eservice. The court reasoned that Rio's more traditional attempts at service (including registered international mail, return receipt requested) had failed and that Rio had established email as an effective means of communication with RII given that RII had communicated with Rio via email on two prior occasions.
May 31, 2002
Western District of New York
NY
Ryan v. Brunswick Corp.
Email
(finding service by regular mail, fax, and/or e-mail constitutionally permissible when defendant maintains website directing parties to communicate with it by regular mail, phone, fax, and e-mail).
2002
The New York Supreme Court of Oswego County
NY
Hollow v. Hollow
Email
In this divorce proceeding, the defendant-husband relocated to Saudi Arabia and boasted via e-mail to his wife that “there’s nothing anyone can do to me here.” The wife petitioned the court to authorize service pursuant to section 308(5) of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules.84
 
Mar 28, 2003
Northern District of California
CA
Viz Communications, Inc. v. Redsun
Email
The plaintiff petitioned the court to serve the defendants—a Japanese entity and an individual residing in Japan—by e-mail after it unsuccessfully tried to serve them at several addresses listed on the defendants’ domain name registry
 
2004
Eastern District of Tennessee
TN
Popular Enters., LLC v. Webcom Media Group, Inc.
Email
The Eastern District of Tennessee permitted the use of e-mail service in another trademark infringement case
 
June 3, 2004
United States District Court Southern District New York
NY
D.R.I., Inc. v. Dennis
Email
 
 
May 11, 2005
United States District Court Southern District New York
NY
Export-Import Bank of U.S. v. Pulp & Paper Co.
Email
 
 
October 11, 2005
US District Court
WV
Williams v. Adver. Sex LLC
Email
Past efforts to serve defendants were unsuccessful; plaintiff granted permission to serve via email
Jan. 6, 2006
Eastern District of Wisconsin
WI
D’Acquisto v. Triffo
Email
The Eastern District of Wisconsin authorized service of process via e-mail under Rule 4(f)(3).76 The court directed e-mail service mainly because it appeared the defendant was avoiding service, the plaintiff’s previous service attempts had failed, and the parties had previously communicated by e-mail.
June 13, 2006
United States District Court Southern District New York
NY
Bank of Credit & Commerce Int'l (Overseas) Ltd. v. Tamraz,
Email
 
2007
SD TX - Federal
TX
Nabulsi v. Al Nahyan
Email
Referring case - Keller Williams V Lappeer
January 26, 2007
D Guam
Nanya Tech. Corp. v. Fujitsu Ltd.
Nabulsi v. Al Nahyan
Email
Defendant avoided service but had working email; service granted
April 17, 2007
CA
Northern District of California
Williams-Sonoma Inc. v. Friendfinder Inc.,
Email
Sued to prevent namesake from being used in metatags on porn sites. Williams-Sonoma asked the court for an order authorizing it to serve process in the manner in which Williams-Sonoma had already been able to communicate with the defendants – by e-mail. The court granted the request.
March 12, 2007
NY
United States District Court Southern District New York
Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Veles Ltd
Email and fax
Trademark infringement case; service by email granted
Apr. 24, 2007
NY
SD NY
Navalmar (U.K.) Ltd. v. Welspun Gujarat Stahl Rohren, Ltd.,
Email
Allows email service only after personal service was effectuated
Apr. 4, 2008
NY
Civil Court of City of NY
Snyder v. Alternate Energy Inc
Email
Required that plaintiff email 2 consecutive days with specific subject line AND call defendant to notify him of email
Jan. 30, 2008
DC
US District Court
Juniper Networks, Inc. v. Bahattab
Email and fax
Attempted traditional service; couldn't locate defendant; service granted via email and fax
Sep. 4, 2008
CA
ND CA
LDK Solar Securities Litigation - Securities Class Action Clearinghouse
Email
I hereby certify that on this date, I electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk of the 4 Court using the CM/ECF system which will send notification of such filing to the e-mail addresses of the parties of record. I further certify that Service Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 23-2 will be made electronically to: Securities Class Action Clearinghouse Att. Juan-Carlos Sanchez/Cara Mia Perlas Stanford University School of Law Crown Quadrangle Stanford, CA 94305-8612 [email protected]
Feb. 13, 2008
CA
ND CA
Bank Julius Baer & Co. v. Wikileaks
Email
Defendant avoided service but had working email; service granted
July 31 2008
TX
SD TX Houston
Keller Williams Realty, Inc. v. Lapeer
Email
Email service granted
Dec. 1, 2008
IL
ND ILL
MacLean-Fogg Co. v. Ningbo Fastlink Equipment Co., Lt
Email and fax
Plaintiff issued motion requesting service by email be allowed retroactively; court denied that but allowed plaintiff to reserve via email and fax per order
Apr. 29, 2010
FL
Southern District of Florida
1 Cf. Chanel, Inc. v. Zhixian
Email-with restrictions
permitting e-mail service of process, but requiring service by publication as well given the limitations of e-mail)
October 12, 2010
CA
ND CA
Libyan Jamahiriya Broadcasting Corporation vs. Abdalla Saleh
Email
Defendant avoided service but had working email; service granted
May 10, 2011
MN
Fourth District Family Court of Minnesota
Mpafe v. Mpafe
Email, Facebook, Myspace, or any other social networking site
Divorce; SOP approved via various social media sites
February 11, 2013
FL
Southern District of Florida
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Alcocer et al
Delivery of package and email to several email addresses
 
March 7, 2013
NY
United States District Court Southern District New York
FTC v. PCCare247 Inc.
Email and Facebook
After some difficulty in effecting service of the summons and complaint on the defendants in India, the FTC asked the court for leave to serve the remainder of the documents in the case (e.g., additional pleadings, motions, notices) via email and Facebook. The court granted the FTC’s motion.
December 12, 2013
OH
United States District Court Southern District of Ohio Western Division
Lexmark International, inc. v. Ink Technologies Printer Supplies, LLC, et al
Email
Serve foreign defendants via email
February 4, 2014
NY
United States District Court Southern District New York
Delama GEORGES et al., Plaintiffs, v. United Nations et al.
Email
Specifically, by certified mail, return receipt requested; facsimile; and electronic mail— because service by traditional means has proved impracticable.
February 20, 2014
VA
USDC for Eastern District of Virginia
WhosHere, Inc. v. Orun
Email, Facebook and LinkedIn
Motion granted
September 12, 2014
NY
Family Court of the State of New York County of Richmond
Noel Biscocho v. Anna Maria Antigua
Facebook
Custody case; other methods proved unsuccessful; FB approved
March 27, 2015
NY
Supreme Court, New York County
Ellanora Arthur Baidoo v. Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku, Defendant
Facebook
divorce; service by facebook allowed
April 13, 2015
NY
Dutchess County
Matter of Sucich 2015 NY Slip Op 50523(U)
Email and Mail
Probate court; nephew fled to Mexico
May 29, 2015
NY
S.D.N.Y
AMTO, LLC v. Bedford Asset Management, LLC
Email
Motion granted to effectuate service of the Third-Party Summons and Complaint on Kuznetsov without the necessity of translation into the Russian language by email upon Kuznetsov at the Email Address, specifically [email protected]
May 29, 2015
DC
Superior Court of the District of Columbia Civil Division
 
Text Message and Email
District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Laura Cordero ordered that an evasive defendant could be served through text message and email in a stalking and harassment case.
September 14, 2015
FL
SD FLA
Stat Medical Devices, Inc. v. HTL-Strefa, Inc.
Email
The plaintiff may serve by email the summons and complaint on the foreign defendant and its president at their respective email addresses and serve the summons and complaint on the domestic defendant's attorney.
November 27, 2015
NY
SDNY
Sulzer Mixpac AG v. Medenstar Industries Co., Ltd.
Email
The Court hereby grants plaintiff's motion to serve defendant by email at [email protected], but denies plaintiff's proposal to serve defendant by postal mail
December 7, 2015
AZ
District Court AZ
Hydentra HLP Int. Ltd. vs. Porn69.org
Email
Defendant avoided service but had working email; service granted
March 10, 2016
NY
United States District Court, S.D. New York.
Fisher v. Petr Konchalovsky Foundation
Email
Fisher requests that the Court permit him to serve the Foundation via email. He alleged that the foundation wrongfully declared the oil painting by Petr Konchalovsky he owned a fake
September 26, 2016
NY
Family Court Onondaga County
Matter of J.T. 2016 NY Slip Op 26286
Email
Established history of use w/ email; defendant regularly moved
September 30, 2016
CA
United States District Court Northern District of California
St. Francis Assisi v. Kuwait Finance House; Kuveytturk Participation Bank Inc., Hajjaj Al Ajmi; and Does 1 to 200
Twitter
In a September 30th ruling, U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler of the Northern District of California invoked Rule 4(f)(3) to order that the plaintiff be allowed to use Twitter to serve process on the Kuwaiti national
2016
DC
DC Courts
Bazarian Int’t Fin. Assoc. v. Desarollos Aerohotelco, et. al.,
Email