A Reminder of How Not to Act After Being Served
Receiving papers from a process server can be an emotional experience. Any number of things might be contained in that stack of papers, from a divorce to a bankruptcy or ugly lawsuit. Most process servers will report that delivering papers rarely makes the recipients happy, but it’s a necessary component of the judicial process. Some people accept their papers quietly and head inside to deal with their emotions, others ignore the papers and hope the problem will simply disappear, and certain people respond with impulsive violence.
The news is often filled with stories of men and women going after process servers with rocks, fists, or even guns, but few stories chronicle how the recipient of legal papers might hurt himself instead. Sadly, a man in Billings, Montana shot himself at his home on Parkhill Drive back in June after being served papers from civil deputies.
According to the press release from Billings Police Sgt. Mitch Hart, the country civil deputies made contact with the man through his bedroom window around noon and asked him to come outside. The deputies began making their way to the front of the house but then heard the sound of gunfire inside the home. When they entered the house, they found that the 60-year-old male has shot himself in the head. The Secretary of Veteran Affairs is the legal owner of the man’s home, so it can be assumed that the man is a veteran of the United States military forces.
The man was rushed to St. Vincent’s Emergency room, but details of his family and potential survival have not been released. This story is a tragic reminder of the serious implications of served papers and the delicate job of process servers and civil deputies to deliver those papers. Violence of any kind never makes the situation better.