JUSTIN BIEBER AVOIDS BEING SERVED - MAYBE NOT.
Earlier today (10/15/2014) a process server at Justin Bieber’s Beverly Hills condo threw legal papers at the pop star as Justin sneaked out of his parking garage in a blacked-out Range Rover. The suit was filed by a paparazzo who suffered injuries when Bieber’s car struck him outside the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood on June 25, 2013. The video implies that he was not served because he avoided service. However, we believe a strong argument can be made that he was personally served.
A person being served does not need to accept the papers to be served and they do not even need to be touched by the papers to be served. This theory of delivery vs. acceptance is a widely accepted practice throughout the country.
The Minnesota Supreme Court in Carlson v. Cohen4 dealt with a service which was made by placing the papers under the windshield wiper of defendant’s automobile as she attempted to evade service in the driveway of her home. The court held: “There appears to be proper personal service despite its uniqueness … .” The Cohen ruling reaffirms that touching the defendant with the papers to be served is not a requirement.
In Florida a person may not elude service when a process server comes to the person’s home attempting to serve process. In Liberman v. Commercial Nat’l Bank of Broward County, 256 So. 2d 669 (Fla. 4th DCA 1971), the court decided that where a defendant, upon seeing a process server approach, ran into his house and closed the door, and where the process server, left a copy of the process in the defendant’s mailbox and afterwards observed the defendant exit his house and remove the papers from the mailbox, personal service on such defendant was effective. The two key aspects of this service are; 1) the defendant was aware of the service at the time he saw the server and decided to evade. 2) the defendant had the option of taking the papers in-hand but he chose to run.
In the Justin Bieber case, the video below shows Bieber actually driving his vehicle around the process server to avoid her. If we were the court in that case, we would have to rule that Justin Bieber got served!