US Court Authorizes Email Service of Process on Fugitive Residing in Mexico

May 12th, 2015


Finding that service by publication was financially imprudent and noting that the law permits service by special mail service as well as “substituted service” a New York Probate court took a bold new step and authorized email service of process of a distributee of the decedent.

In Estate of Sucich, (NYC April 15, 2015), the proposed executor sought an order authorizing service of a citation by electronic mail upon distributee of the decedent, who is alleged to have been a fugitive from justice and believed to reside in Mexico, under an assumed alias. The sister of the distributee stated that her brother periodically contacted her by email and provided proof that her brother has responded to two email addresses. When a distributee resides outside of New York, “service may be effectuated upon non-domiciliaries by certified mail, return receipt, registered mail, return receipt or by special mail carrier.” The proposed executor alleged that he had exhausted his ability to locate the brother’s whereabouts other than to note that he is purportedly living somewhere in Mexico under an alias and may be receiving mail at a phantom address in that country.

The court further stated that “[w]hile service of process by email is not directly authorized by either the CPLR or the Hague Convention, it is not prohibited under either state or federal law, or the Hague Convention, given appropriate circumstances … [B]oth New York courts and federal courts have, upon application by plaintiffs [in civil suits], authorized email service of process as an appropriate alternative method when the statutory methods have been proven ineffective.

“In my experience, service of process in Mexico has frequently proved problematic,” says John A. DeMarr, P.I., a licensed California private investigator since 1985, and president of John A. DeMarr Private Investigators, one of the few firms offering process service in Mexico. “Being knowledgeable about the Hague Convention on Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters, of which the court took judicial notice, is critical for anyone engaged in international process serving” DeMarr continued.

“Our 30 years of experience makes all the difference, in the service levels and innovative approaches we can offer our clients. Many times our expertise results in a valid service where other process servers or private investigation firms have failed.”

John A. DeMarr, a well-known Private Investigator in Huntington Beach, has provided consistently innovative process service and private investigation services over thirty years of experience in California – always reasonably priced, always within the bounds of California law. And courts have upheld our service techniques, resulting in judgments, subpoena service and post-judgment enforcement results against deadbeat parents; defendants evading service of process; residents of gated communities; corporations and partnerships; and unfaithful spouses.

John A. DeMarr, Private Investigator’s new statewide process service program provides important new tools for creditors owed money; for financial institutions and insurance companies; and, perhaps most importantly, to injured plaintiffs across California.

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