International man of rapping Flo Rida has won his appeal against a lawsuit from Fat As Butter Festival, with a NSW judge upholding claims that the plaintiff did not use correct avenues to inform the rapper of the legal proceedings.
In an unprecedented move, after being left with few options, the festival’s legal reps served Flo Rida via email and on his Facebook page.
After an initial ruling in favour of the festival, Flo (real name Tramar Dillard) and his people called foul play, claiming on appeal that the method of service was not a legally binding procedure.
The new result means that Dillard and his management team, VIP Entertainment and Concepts, have dodged a whopping $400,000 lawsuit plus $20,000 in legal fees.
Speaking of his decision, Justice Robert McFarlan has stated:
“Personal service on the defendant is the primary means of service under the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules. That did not occur in relation to Flo Rida … Unless the primary judge’s order for substituted service [of the summons] was properly made and overcame the apparent lack of jurisdiction to proceed with the action against Flo Rida, the appeal must succeed and the primary judgment for damages set aside.
“The evidence before the primary judge [Judge Taylor] did not in any event constitute a sufficient basis for the making of the substituted service order insofar as that order provided for notice to be given to Flo Rida by means of Facebook. The evidence did not establish, other than by mere assertion, that the Facebook page was in fact that of Flo Rida and did not prove that a posting on it was likely to come to his attention in a timely fashion.”
In a nutshell, the method of service was invalid because there was no evidence before the court in the first instance that Flo Rida had any connection to the Facebook page upon which the order was served, or that he was likely to receive the service order once it was posted.
Initially, when Flo failed to show up to court during the first hearings, the overseeing Judge Taylor ordered the performer recoup festival promoters Mothership music to the tune of $380,000 for damages to both profit and reputation.
It’s been a rollercoaster ride for all involved ever since that fateful moment in 2011, where Flo informed organisers that he had slept in and would not be performing just minutes before his set.
Some people. Hmph.