YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that Defendant John Sutton Turner appears in this action by the law firm of Northcraft, Bigby & Biggs, P.C., by the undersigned attorney. All pleadings, notices, and other papers in this action, exclusive of process, should be served at the address stated below. ...
Excluding process means the attorney will not accept the service of documents on behalf of the defendant.
Turner has yet to be served. What the notice of appearance may secure is demonstrating that there's an acknowledgment of a complaint but no formal response as to the legitimacy of the complaint in substance or in general. What this could mean, for instance, is that the plaintiff counsel will have to notify the defendant counsel of any and all motions. So if, for instance, a motion for any kind of default or summary judgment were to be undertaken the counsel would need to be notified, but the counsel cannot be regarded as a substitute for the defendant to whom service of process can be directed, if I'm understanding this correctly. This could permit an opportunity for a response on the part of the attorney whether or not the defendant has been served.
For any people who are wondering how true it could be that, as both Driscoll and Turner have now stated for the record, they haven't been served papers, it's pretty easy to believe that nobody's been served papers yet. Serving papers depends on finding people and you have to know where people are to begin with for that. Driscoll's mentioned in sermons and talks on the road that he's in a rented house. It's not a given that said rented house is even rented in his name, for instance. Even if Driscoll announces that the Driscolls are doing work parties every weekend excluding major federal holidays this summer that doesn't necessarily mean service might be a matter of showing up for the work party and handing over papers. Service can be refused, for instance. Proof of service can be required in part because if someone refuses to accept papers you'd still have to be able to prove the service was rendered or it won't be acceptable in court, will it?
There may be ways the RICO could die a death of a failure to meet technical procedural requirements before either defendant even gets served.