In Kazakhstan, however, they're turning the tables.
Starting on September 1, courts in Kazakhstan will be issuing subpoenas via text message. It's a monthlong pilot program aimed at streamlining the work of the judiciary, according to a representative of the Supreme Court who spoke to RFE/RL's Kazakh Service on condition of anonymity:
The court representative says that officials will be able to tell if a subpoena was received using traditional cell-phone alert services provided by Kazakhtelecom. If a mobile telephone number is not available, subpoenas will be issued on paper and delivered through more traditional means.
It's unclear whether the SMS subpoenas apply to criminal as well as civil cases, with an official at one criminal court in Almaty professing to have no knowledge of the project.
The idea is being lambasted on social networks in Kazakstan. As one user named "Aktyubinets" railed:
In the view of Nurzhan Sadirbekuly, the SMS innovation is a good opportunity for citizens looking for an excuse to avoid court:
What's next? Verdicts by SMS? U R guilty :-(