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Serving "That Guy"

I just want to say, sometimes you run into "that guy" when you are serving papers.

He is angry that you are serving him.
He thinks if he doesn't touch the papers, then he isn't served.
He thinks he can make some sort of statement that will somehow negate the service.
He thinks he can intimidate you with threats of calling the police.
He thinks he can intimidate you with threats claiming you are trespassing.

That guy.  Well, I actually served that guy the other day.  Yes, he tried to employ every one of those tactics.  The one I found most amusing, was the "trespassing" one.  Here is what the place looked like when I approached:

This is a blurry pic - but I didn't want to use a good one, as not to reveal "too much."  However, it is easy to see the open front gate and the fact that th door to the porch is standing open (which I did not go through).

"That Guy" tried to claim he had a "no trespassing sign."   I asked him where, as I never saw one.  Then he pointed towards the house next door and said "It is way down there."

Here is how it went down:

I walked up and knocked on the wall by the open door.  I waited and knocked again.  "That Guy" walked up from inside the house and closed that glass door.  I introduced myself and told him why I was there.  I already recognized the guy from his jail booking photos.

"That Guy" said he didn't know me, he wagged his finger at me, and said "Get off my property."  I told him "OK", then I said "You are served." See that gap above the door?  I slid the papers in there before walking away.  "That Guy" then grabs the papers, opens the door and throws them on the ground.

This began his threats of calling the police - to which I said go ahead.  He then said he was already served and already has a court date - which I told him the date was on the papers and I was not sure what that was. He then complained that I threw something into his house.

It was really not that big of a deal, but he was indeed "That Guy."

Stay Safe!

The Great Transformation

I served a woman today that I hardly recognized. I served her two days before in jail. Today I saw her leaving the courthouse and I served her.
In “vulgar” terms – she looked like a crack whore in jail. When I saw her outside the courthouse she looked really good. She knew it too, as she asked me how I recognized her. I mostly went by the fact she was the same height, weight and hair color and I knew where she was supposed to be. I don’t think I have both photos as cameras are not allowed in the jail. 
I was pretty much amazed at her transformation.

Sorry - no photos to protect her privacy

One More Reason to Turn Off Wi-Fi on Your Phone

I have a habit of turning off my Wi-Fi on my smartphone, mostly because I am gone out and about for most of the day, and when Wi-Fi is turned on it tends to drain the battery much faster as I move about because it is constantly seeking to connect.

Well, a security researcher, Brendan O'Conner, developed a device (which many could make on their own) that can snoop on anyone whoever happens to hook up with unsecured Wi-Fi.

He could pick up the Web sites he browsed when he connected to a public Wi-Fi – say at a cafe – and he scooped up the unique identifier connected to his phone and iPad. Gobs of information traveled over the Internet in the clear, meaning they were entirely unencrypted and simple to scoop up.
 Even when he didn’t connect to a Wi-Fi network, his sensors could track his location through Wi-Fi “pings.”
Not only that, but it could gather email addresses, Id's to social media sites, photos and a lot more.  You can learn more about it by reading A Cheap Spying Tool With a High Creepy Factor

This is not legal to do anywhere, but it can easily be done.  So my tip for you is to turn off Wi-Fi except when you are using a secured server.  Identity thieves can really have a hey day with something like this.
Whatever you do - Stay Safe!

NSA Has Been Tapping Into Skype

We should have known.  You should have known.  Every time Microsoft takes over an operation – security is compromised.  This happened when Skype was taken over by the Software giant.  Before Skype was nearly impossible to “tap” because it was a peer to peer service and was encrypted.  Once Microsoft took over, they decided that Skype needed to increase Skype’s reliance on the Microsoft-owned “supernodes.”

Then comes May…  ARS technical – a security website ( revealed good reason to fear that the once “untappable” system became vulnerable.  Their research found evidence that Microsoft has access to the unencrypted contents of Skype chats. You can see that information here:

-  in a nutshell – they sent Skype messages containing specific links.  Those links were “clicked on” by machines that had IP addresses belonging to Microsoft.

According to the Guardian, Microsoft helped enable the NSA to intercept Skype conversations.  From their article ( they also state that:
• Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new portal;
• The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on, including Hotmail;
• The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;
• In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;
It does not take an intelligence expert to connect the dots.  I firmly believe the sole purpose of Microsoft taking over Skype was for the intelligence community to be able to monitor the conversations.  Do I have absolute proof?  No.  Does it all make sense looking at the situation now?  Yes.

Whatever you do – stay safe!

A Problem Serve

I had one of those "problem" Troopers to serve the other day.  I had a subpoena for him.  I contacted his dispatch two times over a period of three days and left a message, went by his office three times on different days (I left a message there 2 of those times) after about 5 days total, I decided to go to his house.  No one answered, so I left a note on the windshield of his patrol car with my card.

In case you don't know, here in Texas most DPS Troopers don't have a particular "roll call" before going to work.

He calls me 2 days later, so I ask him  if we can make arrangements to meet so I can serve him the subpoena.  He says he needs to talk to the attorney that issued the subpoena first.

A day later he calls the attorney and complains that I was "unprofessional" for going to his house.  He griped at him quite a bit.  This attorney is low key and basically told him he doesn't tell me how to serve subpoenas.

I wait another day, and I call the Trooper back on the number he called me from.  He starts complaining about me calling his personal phone and going by his house.  I explained that I had not heard anything after leaving several messages.  He finally agreed to meet me.

When we met, he acted all nice and said nothing other than "where do I sign?"  As a matter of fact he was very polite and cordial.

I decided to say I was sorry that I had to go by his house, but I did not know if he had gotten any of my messages.

His response:"Oh, I got the messages, but I was off for a few days."

So I ask "so, what would you want me to do in these cases?"  He says "Call the Sergeant." as he turns and walks away offering me no contact information for his Sergeant, nor does he say who (s)he is.

Now how hard would it have been to return a call to me and say "I will be off until next Thursday?" - and supposedly I am the "unprofessional" one.

Whatever you do - stay safe.

Judge Gone Wild

Apparently, in Jefferson County Texas, Judge Layne Walker, has decided either he is the law or is at least above the law.  It looks like something that would be going on in a banana republic, but no, it is happening in Texas.   I have not checked the party affiliation of the judge, as that does not matter.  Government gone bad is government gone bad. There are many accusations against said judge, and his actions as reported in articles, are not professional or are downright corrupt.

Allegedly, the judge had pulled a gun on a process server that was attempting to serve him.  The same judge then incarcerated the same process server for trying to serve the same documents to the judge at the Jefferson County Courthouse.  The server was not charged for anything, until long after he had been in custody.

It seems the Judge is really annoyed at what has been reported by Investigator Philip Klein.  You can read more about this and other things concerning this judge and the complicit sheriff at The Southeast Texas Political Review.

WND has taken notice and has an article about the Texas Judged (sic) Accused of Corruption Goes on Legal Rampage.  It speaks of even more bad behavior that the Judge appears to have been doing.  People often ask how can things get this bad?  When the powers that be either fear or are complicit with a judge like this, it is easy for it to grow into a lawless situation. The Texas Rangers will not investigate without the permission of the District Attorney.  Maybe many turn their head because the Texas Gang Investigators Association has recognized Judge Layne Walker with a state-wide "Ted Poe Damn Good Judge" award for what the group calls his effort to help combat gang activity.  After all, he puts gangsters away!

Just because the judge does one thing you like doesn't mean that the (alleged) flood of ongoing bad behavior should be ignored.

I just could not pass up posting about this.  Whatever you do, stay safe!

The Friday Afternoon Rush

In my business, I find a common factor of Fridays.  I believe it is because attorneys and "legal service" companies want to clean up their pending workload before weeks end.  So, more often than not, there is a Friday rush of papers to be served.

I even usually wait to go do Friday evening serves until after 5pm, to make sure that I will be able to catch all of thos last minute papers.  The problem is, some find ways to even get them to me after that.  Many of the people that I serve for email me th documents to be served.  On company, I went out on Friday and returned after 7pm, and still had no new documents.  When I checked on Saturday, there were 10 new papers to be served.  I was originally planning on a "slow" Saturday, but that had changed my plans.

Yes, I could have waited until Monday to start service, but I really do not like having a lot of pending work myself, but that applies to any day - not just Fridays.

I have learned to expect the rush of papers, but sometimes they still find ways to surprise me.

STay Safe!

Making Sure Your Photos and Video Can Be Used as Evidence

It is really not all that difficult to get photographic evidence or video evidence introduced into a case.

There is an age- old "7-Prong Test" for this type of evidence to be admitted:

1)   It must be proved that the camera was capable of taking photos/video.  In other words Was the camera was in good operating condition without malfunctions?

2)   The person taking the video/photos must be shown to be competent in the use and operation of the camera.

3)   The authenticity and correctness of the recording must be documented. You must be able to document  that tampering with the photos/video has not occurred.

4)   You also must be able to show that the video or photographs have not had any additions, deletions or changes made. Note:  You must be able to testify that the video is a true and complete recording, free of editing or tampering of any kind.  If a video is edited (like many need to be to have a time-stamp), the original unedited copy must be available for review by the court.  I also often have to convert the files to another format, as the court may not be able to view the original format.

5)   The court must be shown the manner of presentation.

6)   The recordings must show proper identification of the subjects depicted in the video or photographs.  Note:   The investigator must have proper facial views of the subject documented so that the identity of the subjects can be assessed.  Either that or other distinctive markings, or tattoos must be clearly visable.

7)   You need to be able to show that the actions was elicited voluntarily without inducement.  You cannot cause a situation that would create circumstances that would make the subject act differently than they might without the circumstances presented to them.  For example:  you cannot let the air out of a tire to cause the subject to have to change the tire.  This comes down to entrapment.

If you can meet the 7-prong test, you can get the evidence admitted.  Questions about video or photos on an SD card and whether they are on the orginal SD card are not really relevant.  SD cards are merely temporary storage devices for the evidence themselves.

Whatever you do - stay safe!

Finally Not Embarrassed to Show ID

My new license(s) have finally come in after renewal, and they actually look like a state issued license.  I am happy to retire my previous state issued license(s) that looks like something one may find in a Cracker-Jacks box.

Hooray for the changes that have finally come in Texas.

(Note: they still call them "pocket cards" in trying to keep us from appearing too professional)

Whatever you do - stay safe!

Process Service and Investigations - it is Similar, but not the Same

I get asked a lot about the differences between process service and investigations.  While thaere are many differences, there are similarities.  Sometimes to find the person to be served, you need to do some investigating yourself.  You may need to find where the person lives, works and hangs out.  The reason is you may need to serve them where ad when you know you can find them.

Process Service is 99% about being in the same place at the same time as the person you are serving.  This is easy enough when you have cooperative folks, and can be very difficult when people are trying to avoid service.  Sometimes you need to learn a prson's schedule and habits.  You need to learn about the vehicle they drive and may need to get a description or photograph of the subject.

One more similarity is surveillance.  There are those pesky serves that can only be done with surveillance.  You simply need to wait un noticed until the person eing served is leaving or arriving from a place you know the will be.

Since serves have a set fee, you usually need to get permission from the client to charge for "wait time" if you are going to conduct surveillance on a serve.  Otherwise, you are costing yourself money if you are doing a serve.  I know a lot of servers out there, myself included a time or two, that just get fed up with the avoidance that you make all sorts of special efforts to make the serve.  Sometimes it is just a matter of pride.

Whatever you do - stay safe!

Get Yourself Caught

If you want to get yourself caught doing something you shouldn't - just post it on Facebook (or Twitter or even that dying MySpace).

Some knucklehead ended up in bigtime trouble with child support, because he posted this picture on Facebook (credit photo to Facebook)

You can read the story here:  ABC News Story

Obviously he isn't the smartest of fellows.  He probably even posted this believing it would help him in some way!:

Whatever you do - stay safe!

Tunnel Vision

It amazes me how tunnel vision affects investigations.  In criminal cases,  I usually have the benefit of going in after the case has been investigated by the police.  I can see what they did, and I can't see what they didn't do.

What amazes me is how tunnel vision almost takes over an investigation.  It is like the investigators become possessed by something causing them to only focus on one suspect.  While more often than not, they usually have the right suspect, by having tunnel vision they end up missing key evidence and testimony by others.  Think of it this way, if you are looking at the possibility of other suspects, you are more likely to broaden your search for clues and evidence.  When you do this, you are more likely to discover more evidence.  This includes evidence against the given suspect.

When investigators focus on one suspect, they often allow other suspects to go free,  They also narrow the search of evidence so small that some obvious evidence is over looked.  I am not saying these are bad investigators.  What I am saying is that investigators need to be aware of how tunnel vision can cause you to narrow your focus so much that you miss key evidence.   This is a psychological thing that happens "naturally" and investigators need to fight the tendency to have tunnel vision.

Part of the problem is that investigators are pressured to clear cases by arrest, so once they get a suspect, they narrow the search of clues and evidence too quickly.

This was just something that hit me as I am working on a current case.

Whatever you do - Stay safe!

The B-I sitch that Did Not Want to be Served

A few days back I had papers to serve on a woman that I knew was ducking service.  At night, I could see the lights on in her apartment and even see movement inside.  She would not answer the door.

So I tried several times of day to catch her.  I had figured out what car was hers so I sat out from zero-dark thirty to wait for her to go to work or whatever.  After a couple of hours, I see a woman that fit the description given to me walking to the car.

I call her by name tell her who I am and try to hand her papers.  She has that "deer in the headlights" look and tried to ignore me as she gets into her car. (she has two toe-headed kids in tow).  After she opens the driver's door, she gets in and I drop the papers in her lap.  BOOM!  She has been served.

I guess she thought she could "unserve" herself.  She opens the door and throws the papers on the ground.

I informed her it did not matter what she did with the papers, as she had been served.

She then drove off...

I guess she tears up traffic tickets expecting them to go away too.

- Be Safe!

Happy New Year

Well, 2012 went and 2013 has arrived.  I have mixed feelings about business, as it was doing really well, but the holidays gave me a really big slow down. Couple that with a few incidents that took place at the end of the year, and now I feel the pressure.

All is good though, as it seems I can do OK in this business, and I will re-double my marketing efforts for the new year.  Many of them are very simple, but they seem to work.

This year I will start of giving everyone a free tip.  They often ask me how to protect their privacy on Facebook.  That is really easy - don't put anything private on Facebook!  (Seriously, if you don't get this, maybe you just need to delete your Facebook account)