On Absurdity

Posted by on 29 December 2013

We recently enjoyed the opportunity to have as a party opponent a guest of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  We shall not detail the matter but to say that he is a mancritter who should not be allowed near children.

In order for our case to proceed, we needed to serve him with certain paperwork (service of process).  We’ve been working on this for nearly two months.  Being, as he is, subject to BOP’s oversight, his address is not available to us; BOP keeps such things confidential.  To serve him with papers, we’re not allowed to send certified mail (easy) or use our usual process server, as either would require knowing his whereabouts.  Instead, we’re forced to use the county Sheriff to serve him.  Of course, the Sheriff needs an address as well, one which we can’t provide; instead, we give him a name, and contact information for his supervisor at BOP, who will provide the address (he, being Law Enforcement, can be trusted with such matters).  We chased him across three counties (it seems nobody knows where he really is), but finally found him in the very county where our office sits.

Still, we can’t get an address.

So, we trundled on down to the Sheriff’s office with (another) set of papers to have him served.  The clerk responsible for such things was tremendously helpful, calling both the critter’s supervisor and previous counties’ clerks to find the critter, and ultimately succeeding.  We thanked her appropriately, wished her a merry Christmas, and went happily on our way.

A few days ago, we received mail: the Sheriff’s Return of Service (proof of delivery).  As we reviewed it, we noted something on the second page:

The address at which he’d been served.

Way to go, BOP!  Your rules delayed us for two months, and we ended up getting exactly what you didn’t want us to know.  Well done!

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