Searles v. ArchangelAnnotate this Case
After the superior court dismissed plaintiff's petition for a civil harassment restraining order when she was unable to personally serve defendant with a copy of the petition and notice of hearing as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 527.6, subdivision (m), plaintiff appealed and argued that the superior court erred in denying her motion to waive traditional service and allow her to serve defendant through social media.
Although the Court of Appeal acknowledged the practical merit to plaintiff's request, the court concluded that the superior court properly concluded it was obligated to follow Code of Civil Procedure section 527.6's express requirement for personal service. The court explained that current law requires personal service of the petition, temporary restraining order, and notice of hearing in civil harassment restraining order cases and does not permit the court to approve alternative methods of service; section 413.30 does not authorize alternative methods of service in civil harassment restraining order cases; and requiring personal service of the notice of hearing did not violate plaintiff's due process rights. Accordingly, the court affirmed the superior court's order of dismissal.