Personal service of process has been the hallmark for initialing litigation for nearly 100 years primarily because it guarantees actual notice to a defendant of a legal action against him or her.
The author further argues that for the reasons set forth above, while electronic service of process may hold promise for the future, and until adequate technological measures are engineered that (1) satisfy constitutional Due Process requirements for the parties in a manner substantially identical to those provided by physical service of process, (2) more closely approximate the reliability of physical service of process and maintain a presumption of validity generally free from wanton and frivolous challenge, and (3) ensure that the security profiles, retention and validation capabilities of any such proposed system are engineered with true longevity in mind, personal service of process remains the most effective, reliable, and trustworthy method for providing notice of a pending lawsuit and an opportunity to be heard.
To learn more about how this process has worked with real cases and to see if it really was that simple, we inquired about service by Facebook with the team at Statewide Process Servers out of West Jordan, Utah, who affirmed that: “...We have had it happen 3-4 times in the last few months. They are divorce/custody cases in which they either do not have an address for the respondent or we are unable to serve the respondent at the addresses they have. Our client will file a motion for alternative service with the court in which they ask to serve the person through their confirmed Facebook page. Once the Judge signs the order granting it they send it to us. I then create image files of the documents and send them to the person through Facebook messaging. I take a screenshot of each image being sent through the Facebook messaging app and include them with an Affidavit of Service indicating that I served them via Facebook Messaging per the judge's order to do so.”