George Zimmerman can be served with divorce papers by publication

September 24, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Good morning:

George Zimmerman can be served with divorce papers by publication.

Florida Statutes 49.021: Service of process by publication, upon whom.—Where personal service of process or, if appropriate, service of process under s. 48.194 cannot be had, service of process by publication may be had upon any party, natural or corporate, known or unknown, including:

(1) Any known or unknown natural person, and, when described as such, the unknown spouse, heirs, devisees, grantees, creditors, or other parties claiming by, through, under, or against any known or unknown person who is known to be dead or is not known to be either dead or alive.

When a lawyer representing a party to a lawsuit, or a party representing himself without a lawyer, cannot serve a summons and the complaint or petition on the opposing party because he cannot locate the opposing party, the law permits service to be accomplished by publishing a copy of the summons and the complaint in the local newspaper every day for 90 successive days.

Publication in the Orlando Sentinel would suffice.

At the end of the 90 days, the lawyer must file an affidavit of service by publication attaching the summons and complaint or petition and describing the efforts undertaken to find the opposing party.

Service by publication will not be deemed effective, unless all reasonable efforts to locate the opposing party were attempted without success.

In the typical case, the party attempting to obtain service on the non-responding party, goes to court to obtain an order of default after the time period within which to respond to the complaint or petition expires, which is usually 20 days and starts running after the 90 day period for service by publication.

The purpose for requiring all reasonable efforts to serve the opposing party in person before resorting to service by publication is to prevent a party from obtaining a default judgment against another party without actual notice to them.

Someone in the comments mentioned the possibility that Shellie’s lawyer, Kelly Sims, might be able to serve Mark O’Mara with the divorce papers, however, the attorney typically has to agree to accept service for the client and I doubt he would agree to do that since he announced that he will not represent him on the divorce and may not know where he is living or even be in contact with him.

My impression is GZ has refused to assist O’Mara to recoup his costs in the criminal case and O’Mara no longer wants to have anything to do with him with the single exception of the pending NBC lawsuit that probably is not worth anything, given the acquittal.


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George Zimmerman hides to avoid service of process in divorce

September 22, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Good morning:

Cowardly George Zimmerman is hiding again.

This time he is hiding from his wife, Shellie Zimmerman, who is seeking to divorce him.

Her lawyer, Kelly Sims, cannot find him to serve him with a copy of the divorce petition.

The strategy will not work, however, because he can be served by publication.

Mr. Sims need only publish the divorce petition in the local newspaper for 90 days at the conclusion of which the court will deem him to have been served.

Shellie Zimmerman: Turning the page is a good beginning

September 6, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

Good afternoon:

I write to congratulate Shellie Zimmerman for her decision to end her marriage to George Zimmerman and to remind my readers that judges and lawyers generally question the objectivity, accuracy and reliability of factual allegations in divorce petitions. They realize that emotions play a big role in decisions to end marriages. They know from experience, for example, that it takes two to tango, and in all but the most extreme cases, the urge to blame the other marriage partner for the failure of the marriage functions like a cloaking device effectively concealing one’s own contribution.

Assigning blame for the breakup of any marriage is generally a fool’s errand. Emotions are like water and marriages are rivers of emotions that resist classification according to cause and effect. Time is better spent acknowledging that the marriage is broken, regardless of fault. For this reason, we should take anything said by either SW or GW with a grain of salt.

I decided long ago that GZ is a narcissistic and pathological liar who cannot empathize or sympathize with other people. He uses people to get what he wants and his wants are unquenchable. Nothing Shellie says is likely to change my opinion. What she said yesterday confirms it.

As a general principle in most divorces, the lawyers should remind their clients to forget about fault and focus on answering two fundamental questions:

(1) who gets what, and

(2) what should they do to minimize the negative emotional consequences of the divorce on their children.

Shellie’s divorce should be relatively easy because she and George have little or no assets. They probably have no equity in their vehicles. They own a lot of debt and do not have any children.

Given the jury acquittal, the court administrator should pay the outstanding costs incurred by defense counsel. If the court administrator refuses to pay some or all of the costs and the decision is final, the trustee of the trust account created for the internet donations should pay those costs and windup the account. All of the debt remaining for any unpaid costs, after the trust account is closed, should be assigned to GW.

Debts incurred before the marriage usually remain with the partner who incurred the debt. Absent an agreement to the contrary, debts incurred during the marriage usually are divided equally, unless the benefit that created the debt was exclusively enjoyed by one party.

Bankruptcy is an obvious way to extinguish debt; however, not all debts can be extinguished in bankruptcy. Student loans are a good example.

Regardless of her motives, Shellie Zimmerman is headed in the right direction. GW is as toxic an individual as I have ever seen and the best advice that I can give anyone is to stay the hell away from him.

As always, we will be judged by what we do, not by what we say. Shellie Zimmerman is turning the page and that is a good beginning.


Hello, everyone.

Producing articles and maintaining this blog requires substantial time and effort. Please take a moment and consider making a donation.

We depend on you for our support.


Fred and Crane

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