Vol. LIII No. 5

Text Message Service of Process—No LOL Matter: Does Text Message Service of Process Comport with Due Process?

Abstract: U.S. courts have been slow to embrace new technologies. This is especially true when it comes to service of process. With people in the United States relying heavily on cell phones and text message technology, text messages offer a unique method for serving process. Text messages would be useful for serving a defendant when the defendant cannot be located. Further, text messages are sent almost instantaneously and are inexpensive. In addition, unlike e-mail, text messages do not require Internet access. Given these advantages, this Note examines whether text message service of process is constitutional. It argues that text message service of process is not per se unconstitutional. Nevertheless, the current technological limitations of text messages counsel against using text messages to serve process at this time. Assuming that these limitations are ultimately fixed, this Note then proposes a legal framework for permitting text message service of process.

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