Risk & Associates County Civil - May 2020


MAY 2020

The Woman Who Made Sure My Life Changed Course


N ow that it’s May, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to share how proud I am of my mother’s accomplishments and legacy in my family. I’ve shared before that, in my youth, I was quite the little delinquent, so I wasn’t anything close to a mama’s boy as a kid. But she helped turn me around. She truly shaped and changed me in ways nobody else knew how to. Knowing what I put her through in those early days, I’m still amazed she never gave up on me, not once. I think it’s important to preface this story with a bit of background. My mother grew up during the tail end of the Great Depression and World War II — plus, in a poor family with 11 other kids — so there were many things about her upbringing that challenged her. First, she was a hard worker from the start. As a kid, she and her siblings would take a wagon and collect scrap metal for the war efforts. Second, as was common back in the 50s, she dropped out of high school. But my mom, being as hardworking as she is, never stopped learning. There was always a book in her hands. Newspaper, novel, textbook, it could’ve been anything; she would read it. I don’t know how she made time for all of us while growing up. With four kids in the house, she had a lot to juggle, and I know

my antics were constantly pushing her. One day, I can’t recall what the fight was about, but I do clearly remember the moment that I was struck with empathy for her. It was a moment that helped me change everything around. She was very emotional and strained, and told me: “I hope that one day, you have a child just like you.” It wasn’t meant in a complimentary way, either. Then, I knew: I couldn’t have kids like me. At least, not in the state that I was back then. My mom never gave up on me, though. I knew she only said that because she knew one thing better than anyone else: I always felt bad for what I did. A dose of tough love was all it took for me to turn to a career in law enforcement. As a parent of three sons, I definitely got lucky; under certain instances, I see a bit of myself in each of them, but none of them took the tough road I did as a teenager. I’m very grateful for that. As a parent and a grandparent, I try my best to be patient and understand. No matter how young they are, it’s good to keep your communication open and try to remember what it was like when you were that age. Because, ultimately, I try to explain to them that they don’t want regrets. When people do terrible things they know are bad, they grow to truly regret those things. I tell them

they should aim to become good people so they can minimize their regrets throughout their lifetime. Nobody’s perfect, but we should always work hard to be better every single day. My mother loved and supported me, no matter what; she also kept me accountable. That’s why I get peeved sometimes when people say “I made a bad choice,” versus “I made a bad decision.” The word “choice” is often used to lighten the fact that it was a conscious decision. I think it’s important that people understand their decisions and tell others they’re aware of them. Mothers can give us incredible guidance throughout our lives. Although she isn’t with us anymore, I know I’m a better, wiser person every day because of the support my mother gave me. Remember, your decisions and support can change lives. No matter how difficult these times may be, it’s more important than ever to be good neighbors for each other. At County Civil, we check in with our elderly neighbors as much as possible. If you can, volunteer to help yours: Drop a note into their mailbox with a friendly message and your number. Let’s prove to our community that we are all in this together. -Rick Risk

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The $60,000 Heist You’ve Never Heard Of

In 2017, sometime between Sept. 11 and 12, a total of $60,000 worth of digital assets were stolen from people around the world. The

Because of the risk-reward nature of the game, many players unite in huge factions for safety and to pool their resources. One of these groups, Circle of Two or CO2, was the target of the 2017 attack. Within a matter of hours, CO2’s bank accounts were drained and the space stations holding their fleets of ships were sold to their enemies. It was clear from the beginning: This was an inside job. The thief was CO2’s own head diplomat, a player called “The Judge.” For years he’d worked his way through the alliance’s ranks, only to use the access he eventually gained to rob it blind. But greed may not have been his only motivation. He’d had public disagreements with CO2’s leader called Gigx, and a rival faction was able to capitalize on this internal conflict. During an in-person EVE Online summit held in Iceland, representatives from The GoonSwarm Federation convinced The Judge to leave CO2 and commit the single largest robbery in gaming history on his way out. In the real world, The Judge’s actions were completely legal — currently, international law doesn’t treat such virtual objects as personal property. But this perception may be changing. As in-game purchases become more widespread in video games, legal lines have blurred, causing an increasing number of lawmakers to rethink what constitutes “ownership” in the digital age. But, for now at least, it seems like a good time to be a space pirate.

conspirators didn’t hide their identities, and they faced no criminal charges. As it turns out, there are no laws against stealing spaceships in a video game — even if they’re worth thousands of real- world dollars.

EVE Online is a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) that was launched in 2003, and it was on this game that the theft occurred. This science-fiction game is all about spacefaring, but one notable feature of the game is that it allows players to purchase in-game assets with real money. This attracts players who can spend large sums on the game, with some of the game’s largest spaceships costing $9,000. But one thing to note in EVE Online is that no matter how much you pay, once you lose an asset, it’s gone forever.

Can Somebody Avoid Being Served?

At County Civil, our process servers are the professional messengers of bad news. We know it can be difficult to be served, but many people seem to think that by avoiding process servers altogether, they can avoid the civil process altogether. Whether for a lawsuit, a divorce, or obtaining child support, this is simply not true. Even if a defendant physically and verbally refuses the papers, a process server can still leave them with the defendant and they will be considered served. Ultimately, according to Michigan state law, all personal process servicing should satisfy the three-point Barclay rule: The process server must inform the defendant of the nature of the papers being served, offer them to the defendant, and leave them in the defendant’s physical control.

What does this mean? A personal delivery of a summons and complaint doesn’t necessarily require an in-hand delivery. A process server could research and locate the defendant’s place of work, inform the defendant through calling them, offer the papers, and leave them at their workplace to pick up. Because the process server had successfully done their part to inform, offer, and give the papers, the papers would be considered served. Can a defendant go through every possible measure and avoid being served? No. At best, it will simply delay the process, but the process will always happen with or without defendant compliance. When there’s been significant, unsuccessful effort to come in contact with the defendant, the process server can file a motion and order for alternate service with the court allowing the

document(s) to be tacked/firmly affixed to the inteded party’s door, and followed up by any number of other actions such as certified mail or leaving a copy with someone at the address of suitable age and discretion. No matter what the circumstances are, we’ll always do our best to serve your papers. Our expert civil processing team at County Civil pays close attention to all previous litigation and regulation to make sure of it.


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Why Reading for Pleasure Can Make You Resilient FEEL INVINCIBLE WITH READING

While many find it hard to make time for a book, it’s possible that most people don’t really know all the benefits of reading. According to a 2015 reading study done in the UK, the most significant benefits of reading come from choosing to read for pleasure. As children, all reading is meant to be fun — it’s a little more challenging as an adult to get into the mood if you haven’t read for fun in a long time. That’s why we wanted to share some adult-tested and studied reasons why reading is just as good for you as it is for young kids. As adults, it’s easy for us to recognize conflict. While artists and scientists may occasionally feud, many do agree on one thing: The neurophysiology of your brain — and the basis for your human experience — is naturally hardwired to language. That’s why it makes perfect sense that reading can induce emotional and psychological resilience through difficult times in our lives. The same 2015 study agrees. Not only do active readers have a greater ability to cope with difficult situations, but they also feel a greater understanding and empathy for others. Active readers also have greater confidence in expressing their emotions and have higher levels of self-esteem. These are key instincts that help people understand how to grasp emotionally complex and challenging situations.

When compared to nonreaders, the differences make more significant showings. Readers have fewer feelings of stress and depression than nonreaders, and stronger feelings of relaxation. Interestingly, the positive effect of reading doesn’t only affect a reader internally, either. It can also have an external effect: Readers

often feel closer to their friends and their community. Reading doesn’t necessarily shut you out from reality; in some ways, it brings you closer to it. As proved by the historical effect of “To Kill a Mockingbird” on the black civil rights’ movement, readers also have stronger awareness of social issues and of cultural diversity.

Many people dedicate their whole lives to learning and reading, and you can have any level of education to

enjoy it. We hope you pick up a book today!



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2383 Tamarack St., Lake Odessa, MI 48849 616-374-7170 | COUNTYCIVIL.COM R isk & A ssociates

Rick Risk is Founder and President of Risk & Associates, a legal support service provider in Michigan, and has assisted hundreds of attorneys, municipalities, courts, Sheriff Offices, businesses, and others with their strategic process needs.



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Rick’s Dedication to His Mother’s Legacy

A $60,000 Robbery With No Jail Time Can Somebody Avoid Being Served?

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Why Reading for Pleasure Can Make You Resilient

Bird-Watching for Beginners

Bird-Watching for Beginners WHY MAY IS THE BEST MONTH TO START

Bird-watching is like a lifelong scavenger hunt that you can play anywhere on Earth. The activity provides a mixture of science, travel, and beauty,

zoom in on faraway trees and perches, they’ll work for now. You can always upgrade later. GO EXPLORING

and it’s a chance to get outside for feathered adventures and quiet reflection. The month of May is a great time of year to go birding because rising temperatures prompt spring migration. So if you’re eager to begin bird-watching, there’s no better time than now. Here are some tips to get started. EDUCATE YOURSELF Thousands of species of birds span all corners of the globe. That’s why finding them is an exciting prospect — there’s no end to the hunt! Start by researching birds that are native to your location. Purchase a field guide with pictures of each bird and maps of their range and use it to figure out where different birds live. From there, it’s easy to pick your first spotting goal. You can even get yourself extra excited by watching a few bird documentaries. GEAR UP One of the best things about birding is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to do it. As long as you’ve got your field guide and comfortable walking shoes, the only other thing you’ll need is a pair of binoculars. And they don’t have to be fancy. As long as they can

Your very first birding excursion is important because you

don’t want to be overwhelmed or underwhelmed. So use your field

guide to home in on a single bird and go find it. It may be local, or you can plan a trip to a specific bird’s natural habitat. Stay focused and don’t get distracted by other species. The thrill that comes with spotting your first bird will keep you coming back to find the rest. Bird-watching is a wonderful hobby because it’s easy to get started and can last a lifetime. As long as you can walk, drive, or look out a window, you can be a birder. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find some birds!


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