Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Tricks of the Trade

by Private Investigator Michael T. O'Rourke

Question: I would like to file a Summons and Complaint against a Defendant, but have only a Post Office Box. How do I determine a physical address for Service of Process?

Answer: The Code of Federal Regulations, Title 39, Chapter 1, Part 265.6 (4)(d)(2)(ii) allows persons empowered to serve legal process to obtain true address information of P.O. Box holders. On Firm letterhead, provide the Postmaster of any Post Office

  • a certification that the name or address is needed and will be used solely for the service of legal process in connection with actual or prospective litigation;

  • a citation to the statute or regulation that empowers the requester to serve process, if the requester is other than the attorney for the party in whose behalf service will be made, or a party who is acting pro se;

  • the names of all known parties to the litigation;

  • the Court in which the case has been or will be connected;

  • the docket or other identifying number, if one has been issued; and

  • the capacity in which the box holder is to be served, i.e. defendant or witness.

By submitting such information, the requestor certifies that it is true. Date, and sign the document, and mail to the appropriate Postmaster. Be sure to include a SASE for a prompt return. You should have your information in less than a week.

Question: My Firm is currently defending a large Corporation in the Court of Chancery. The attorney involved has asked me to gain more information regarding the litigants. Where do I start?

Answer: Utilize the Internet. If your subject is a publicly traded corporation on the stock exchange, you can develop information through SEC filings. Go to http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.

Question: I am attempting to locate a classmate from the College I attended. Any ideas?

Answer: Start with the Alumni Association. Most colleges and Universities keep a database for fund raising purposes. You will at a minimum, obtain a last known address. Access the internet site www.anywho.com and search for a phone number.

Det. Michael T. O'Rourke is a Sustaining member of the Delaware Paralegal Association. He invites you to send questions to:

O'Rourke Investigative Associates, Inc.
824 N. Market Street,
Suite 425, P.O. Box 368,
Wilmington DE 19899-0368.
(302) 427-3600.

Or you may e-mail him at DEIrish5@aol.com