Olivia Wilde was served papers on stage. It comes as no shock to those in the industry Olivia Wilde

Actress Olivia Wilde was on stage discussing an upcoming film this week when she received a mysterious envelope that was handed across the stage by someone in the front row.

The content acc different reports, were custody papers from her ex-fiancé Jason Sudeikis, with whom she has two children. Wilde reportedly didn’t turn a blind eye after opening the papers marked “personal and confidential,” but the incident sparked questions. How did the person delivering the papers end up attending the event at CinemaCon, a high-profile film industry gathering in Las Vegas? And why did the person choose such a public moment to hand over the documents to Wilde?

Sudeikis, star of the hit Apple TV+ show Ted Lasso, was unaware that the newspapers would be delivered a Representative to Deadline.

“Mr Sudeikis had no prior knowledge of the time or place the envelope would have been delivered, as that would be entirely up to the process service company involved and he would never condone having it delivered in such an inappropriate manner,” he said Speaker.

But “this isn’t the first time something like this has happened,” says Ken Hastings, president of Hastings Legal Services in Temecula, California.

In fact, there are precedents for such public incidents, which celebrity gossip site TMZ is happily following. In 2013, for example, a spectator Apparently legal papers served to musician Ciara while she was performing. A few years later, Tyga was throwing a sneaker release party when someone approached him to have him autograph some boxes—back then handed him some papers and posed for a photo. Britney Spears received documents as she exited a medical facility, according to video on the website. And last year dr Dre was apparently served with divorce papers immediately after attending his grandmother’s funeral.

David Glass, another California attorney, narrated People about serving baseball player Steve Garvey a few decades ago. “He hid, he always stayed inside. And we found out that he would be speaking at that seminar. And so my boss at the time had our process server buy a ticket, went into the event and basically the same thing they did here, went on stage and gave it to them. I wouldn’t have approved it, but my boss did.”

Whether what happened to Wilde was appropriate would depend, Hastings thought, on whether the on-stage delivery of the papers was a last resort – for example, if the person appeared to be “evading duty”.

Speak with NPR, a process server in the Las Vegas area took a similar view. “I’ve never encountered a customer or been involved with a serve where that would be the first thing we do,” said Bill Falkner. It was the most public incident he was aware of, he said.

Service of process is the formal term for the process of providing a recipient with documents to initiate court proceedings. In prominent states like California and New York, the rules are pretty broad.

Most adults can turn in the papers as long as they’re not involved in the case – so theoretically you could have your best friend do it for you. In California, papers can be served “at the party’s home, at work, or anywhere on the street.” Does the recipient refuse to accept the documents? Don’t worry: “You can lie on the floor in front of him or her. If he takes the papers and tears them up or throws them away, the service is still considered valid.” according to the state judiciary.

However, you may prefer to hire a professional server known as a process server. For one, it eliminates some of the legal hassles that come with it, says Hastings. A friend has to prove in court that he/she delivered the papers, while it is up to the recipient to prove it when a bailiff does the work were not served, he says, although the rules governing the entire process vary from state to state.

In addition, process servers have experience in tracking down people. “This is what we do skip tracks. We do stakeouts. We do a lot of things that private investigators do,” says Hastings.

So is it like in the movies where people use all sorts of schemes to hunt people down? “The movies get it wrong where we dress up in different uniforms to try to do things,” says Hastings.

But it’s not uncommon to go to great lengths — for example, early in his career, Hastings used a parking garage to “patrol a downtown LA condo to make sure the item we were looking for was in the condo.” found. So we came to terms with this unit,” he says, and then had to find a way into the building.

Once you’ve reached the goal, “you need to identify the person and the general nature of the documents and be close to that person,” says Hastings. That means, at least in California, home of Hollywood, you might not hear the familiar refrain from the movies: “You’ve been served.”

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