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Olivia Wilde gets served: Two lessons on the service process

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2022 | Child Custody

Olivia Wilde, an actress known for her roles in movies like Tron and Cowboys and Aliens as well as in the television shows House and Portlandia, is making headlines for a different reason. She is now in a bit of a legal spotlight. The spotlight started to shine while she was presenting at a CinemaCon event in Las Vegas. While promoting her newest project, a member of the audience slid some paperwork across the stage.

It turned out the actress had just gotten served.

Both meanings of the phrase hold true in this situation — she was shown up during her presentation and given legal documents in one foul swoop.

What does it mean to get served?

In the legal sense, this is the official process when one party provides formal notice of an ongoing legal process initiated by another party. This is an important part of the legal process. Without proper service, the legal action generally cannot move forward.

The law requires service for a variety of legal matters, including family law matters. In this example, a professional process server slid the papers across the stage to Ms. Wilde while she was in the middle of her presentation.

How does service work?

State law generally guides the process. In California family law matters, a third party completes service when they deliver the paperwork to the other party. The individual who is completing service can be a relative or friend, coworker, or professional process server. In the case noted above, the individual who slid the papers across the stage to Ms. Wilde was a professional process server.

In order to complete personal service the server must hand over of the documents. The person getting the papers can either accept them or tear them up — state law considers either option as a valid completion of service. In this situation, when Ms. Wilde picked up the paperwork from the floor, service was complete.

Personal service, as used in this example, is one option. In other cases, service by mail or substituted service are also available. This is just one part of the legal process to navigate while going through divorce. An attorney experienced in family law matters can discuss the best way to protect your interests during this and other phases of the divorce process.

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