Surprise! Punk Rock Picnic Promoter Steve Smith is a No-Show in Small Claims Court
John Gilhooley

Surprise! Punk Rock Picnic Promoter Steve Smith is a No-Show in Small Claims Court

So here's a great snapshot of our less-than-perfect legal system...

Yesterday afternoon marked what should've been the first step in a small claims lawsuit filed against failed local promoter Steve Smith, the guy behind the doomed Punk Rock Picnic Music Festival, which we detailed in last week's cover story. We mentioned last week that Gregg White, an indie label owner and would-be vendor at the festival, was the first person to take legal action against Smith, filing a suit for the nearly $1,000 fee he'd paid for a booth at the festival, which was to be held at the Queen Mary last April before it was abruptly cancelled.

See Also: *Promoter of Cancelled Punk Rock Picnic Finally Sued By Fed-Up Vendor Who Wants His Money Back *What the Hell Happened to the Punk Rock Picnic? *Cover Story: Who Stole the Punk Rock Picnic?

Well, yesterday was the scheduled date for Smith and White to appear together in court to sort out the matter before a judge at Harbor Justice Center in Laguna Hills. Guess who failed to show up to defend his case? Well, to be fair, he had a decent loophole to slide through.
Turns out that after several weeks of trying to locate Smith, White's hired process servers were able to locate the promoter at his mother's home in Lake Forest, though White says he would not come out and made his mother take the papers for him. What a guy. This action is called a "sub serve" and according to the law, this automatically pushes the case back another 30 days before he's legally required to show in court. Though had he decided to live up to the original order to appear yesterday, the matter could've moved forward--of course, why do that when you can delay the inevitable for another month?

In addition to the court case being a non-event (just like Smith's music festival), White also had to pay a $10 court fee in order to get the case paper work re-filed with the court. How about that?

Still, White insists that the money he's spending to bring Smith to justice--though it continues to add up--isn't the issue. "Somebody has to stand up and show him he can't do this to people," White says. "I'm realizing that yeah, that money I lost, I might not ever see it again and I may just be at the end of my rope with this whole situation but I know I have to at least try to bring this guy to justice. I just think the system is allowing this guy to skate because he's got no money, no way to pay anyone back supposedly. It's just a messed up situation." The court date is rescheduled to next month to Harbor Center in Newport Beach. We'll see if Smith shows up then. Somehow we doubt it.

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