New York Times legal columnist Adam Liptak notes the inanity of legal "notices" that notify no one:
"The publication requirement always struck me as a pointless waste of money," said Deborah L. Rhode, a law professor at Stanford who in divorce cases has represented poor women forced to buy ads to notify their missing husbands that they had been sued.
"It was particularly ludicrous for our clients, who were below the poverty threshold and had partners who would never be looking at the designated publication," Professor Rhode said. "It was a form of what we used to refer to as 'sewer service.' " (The term refers to the fraudulent practice of claiming to have served legal papers on someone while actually tossing them in the sewer or trash.)
There are only two solutions, she said: "Either make a meaningful attempt to find people where fundamental rights are at stake, or dispense with what is truly form over substance."
The main opponents of this proposal (and of transferring the notices to cyberspace so they can go unread there) are newspapers that want to keep the revenue from selling ads to people who are legally required to buy them.