What to do with letters of inquiry responses? First off most of them are a waste of time. They build a history for the court to see the effort but realistically do not expect much. I have heard of people getting the letters back as bad addresses, keep that for the court, some have ripped or shredded the letter, keep that for court as it shows a lot and then you can get blank returns or no returns. The silly returns are much more helpful than the person doing it thinks. You kind of hope you get some of the silly returns as it shows how little they and the defendant respect the court as they are part of the court record and say so. Not nice to disrespect a judge's court records. While there is no legal requirement to answer a letter, a response that is childish or silly shows the defendant and the people who do that response are not concerned about the court requirements for the plaintiff. That type of response will most likely not bode well for the defendant if they do not show up in court and a default judgment is ordered. Take particular care to keep those responses. The defendant will come to court most likely to challenge the judgment but will face a judge that has those in their records. It is hard to sell I did not know defense when people who knows the defendant respond that way. It also indicates that the defendant was aware of the letters. Remember, the letters are building a case and the childish returns help your case.
Now the other letters that are sent like the FOIA forms are a totally different story. Those, letters from attorneys or the defendant are opened immediately. I have two FOIA responses from government agencies concerning the woman who posted my images on Pinterest as hers. Those are more serious as they come with official government stamps on them. These are much different than the relatives and acquaintances that if they return them do silly things with them. These are legal government sanctioned documents. These contain the information requested if they have it and these also show the defendant filed this information including addresses with government agencies. FOIA stands for Freedom of Information Act.
Take the official responses seriously. Unlike the normal letter responses which may or may not be opened until court these should be immediately opened. The response will help make the filings more accurate and if the address is wrong because the defendant has not changed it then that is in your favor also. It is all about building a record of your diligent search and how the defendant responds if they do. That is why the silly responses hurt the defendant. They and their attorney may say differently but if the attorney is asked separately they will admit they would prefer not having to deal with it especially if they are trying to cancel a default judgment.
The process is long and tiresome. It is a necessary part of the process. You send out inquiry letters using an approved form, you get responses or not. You make a list of who you sent the letter and their particular responses. No responses are a neutral item. Just list them as no response. The FOIA forms are the real source of information and address of record for the court to use. Once you have an official response with the stamp on it things change. Any claim the defendant raises shows they failed to do what they are supposed to do. It may be a legal issue or it may not be an issue. One tip if you think you have an acceptable address. Send a letter of inquiry to the defendant at that address. I did, got no response. The letter also asked for their attorney information. The FOIA responses shows she is using the address the inquiry went as her address at least with these agencies. It is good that they show the same address the inquiry went to the defendant. Be really hard to justify a non response to a court summons to that address.
In summary, do the work knowing some will play the child in response. Some will just ignore them and maybe one or two will actually give you information. Keep it quiet as to any responses as people will be more likely to help if you keep their names out of it until the court sees the responses.
FOIA is a great tool to use. Many people have no idea that those are quite capable of getting a lot of information about people. The average person may not be able to use those but if there are compelling reasons like a valid claim in a court the information will be available. I have three more FOIA forms to file on the person in Arizona. Those will be done after the case is filed if the paperwork cannot be properly served. The record of the inquiry letter asking for a valid address and attorney information is good evidence that they did know about it. Any response from close relatives is also a good indicator that they were aware of pending procedures.
I hope this helps with the procedures here in the states for locating someone for court. The formal address from the FOIA may require a rethink as to the jurisdiction of a court but that is minimal anyway. The cost with the DMCA will be added to the judgment if you win. Just remember to do it well, do it right and do it with a smile or do not do it. Act professional, follow the rules and give them enough room to make the court see how unresponsive they have been. It only helps your case. If it means you have to file in another district, do so. Go there or hire an attorney to do it. I may go spend some time in Arizona checking out the address I got. The cost is the same in all districts and most are now requiring electronic filing so your location when filing is likely irrelevant. The other option is to file in your district if your attorney agrees. The criminal aspect is something that I will not discuss other than to say it is on the table and being discussed in more detail now. I do anticipate using this option as it is clear that it is becoming a necessity.
As an added note, I have said many times to forget the hearsay or he said/she said things are they are just not going to be allowed. So the emails you talked about probably have no bearing as those are conversational items not much else. I will share an example. The person that tried to take ownership of my images stated in an email that she and I never discussed or did one item. She told a lot of people that I was making it up. A few months prior to that she called insurance companies and not only discussed it but claimed it was a fact. Now that is not hearsay or he said/ she said. It is a simple confirmation that she does things to benefit her including misleading her friends and relatives. How can you say you never heard about it, discussed it or knew anything about it months after claiming it for use with a third party. The third party who is not a relative or involved in the incident. They are what is called at arms length. This now becomes evidence from a third party who is disinterested. It clearly shows the way the person operates and will be an item that could be introduced into court as fact not biased and related witness information trying to cover up her actions.
I am not an attorney. These are my personal opinions and general information only. These are not legal advice and should not be used as such.