Michelle Lore Associate Editor - Minnlawyer.com - July 31, 2009
The case of a Hennepin County process server who allegedly falsified multiple affidavits of service has created a tremendous amount of work for the District Court and for the three law firms that used him to serve debtors with summonses and complaints.
The 23-year-old process server has been charged with multiple counts of perjury. A criminal complaint filed last May says the defendant admitted to signing approximately 200 false affidavits during the six months he worked for Edina-based Major Legal Professional Process Serving.
After the issue came to light, the Hennepin County District Court had to vacate more than 180 default judgments for which proper service of process could not be verified. (The court has brought in retired Judge Dennis Murphy from the 9th Judicial District to preside over the case. “We will not hear [the case] because we are one of the victims,” explained Hennepin County District Court Judge Robert Blaeser, head of the court’s civil division.)
The law firms that used the process server in debt collection cases have also suffered, spending hundreds of hours reviewing all potentially affected matters and re-serving defendants in the vacated cases.
“It’s unfortunate that one unseasoned guy with poor judgment … can cost reputable firms and the court system such significant time and effort,” said Heidi Staloch, an attorney with Gurstel Staloch & Chargo, one of the firms for which the defendant served process.
Blaeser said that he’s never seen anything like this before.
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Process server charged with falsifying affidavits causes big headaches