Subpoena By Social Media: Judge Orders Jenna Ellis Be Served Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram DMs

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 19: Rudolph Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, then-attorneys for Donald Trump, conduct a news conference (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
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A federal judge ordered that former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis, who lawyers say has been dodging their attempts to subpoena, may find herself served through an unorthodox channel: her social media direct messages. 

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ordered Wednesday evening that lawyers for former Georgia elections workers Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman — who are suing Rudy Giuliani for defamation and criminal conspiracy after he falsely accused them of being part of a fabricated scheme to steal the 2020 election from Donald Trump — can take to the internet. 

In a prior filing, Freeman and Moss’ lawyers complained that they’d gone to such lengths as hiring a private investigator to try to track Ellis down at her new address in Florida. He was, they said, unsuccessful. 

“Ellis is likely aware of this lawsuit, given that she was added to defendant’s initial disclosures, plaintiffs have attempted to serve her three times at an address where she is believed to have recently resided and where her mother currently resides — including one attempt in which ‘a woman was in the house when the process server attempted service, but refused to come to the door’ — and they have contacted lawyers known to have represented Ellis in another matter and who indicated that they were discussing plaintiffs’ request with Ellis,” Howell wrote in her order. 

Howell ordered Ruby and Freeman’s lawyers to try to serve Ellis through six different channels: her (at least one-time) lawyers, her old Colorado address, her email address, and direct messages to her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. 

Ellis’ alleged noncompliance hasn’t been the only obstacle in the case. Freeman and Moss’ lawyers have also said that Giuliani is refusing to turn over relevant documents in the discovery process. Giuliani said that at least for some of the document recovery, he doesn’t have enough money to retrieve them. 

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