What if the Defendant is AVOIDING service?
What do you do if the defendant is avoiding service? Unfortunately, a Process Server cannot force someone to open a door and in the State of California there is no consequence for avoiding service. But, do not fear, just because they are avoiding personal service
does not mean they cannot be served. After required due diligence
has been achieved, then the legal process opens up other "Manners of Service" that can be legally implemented. Unfortunately, the more effort needed to satisfy the notification requirements, the more expensive it becomes.
After the due diligence is satisfied, some documents can be Substitute Served
, meaning they can be given to anyone over the age of 18 residing tne household. If no one will open the door then you may need to do a "Stake Out" and try to catch the defendant coming to or leaving the residence. Stake outs can be costly so it's best to do as much research about the person you're trying to serve as possible so that the Stake Out window can be condensed. Keep in mind, anyone can eventually be served, it just depends on how much money you have to accomplish the job.
After making the required attempts, a report or "declaration" can be prepared by the RPS to be given to the Judge presiding over the case. The Judge can then determine an alternative Manner of Service depending on the type of document such as "Publication" (CCP 415.50
) or "Post and Mail" or basically any Manner of Service (CCP 413.30
) the Judge feels will satisfy the notification requirements. Only a Judge can authorized (order) these Manners of Service. The Judge needs to determine that the defendant has had ample opportunity to be notified with normal due diligence. He does that based on the declaration prepared by the RPS. If the Judge decides that you haven't done enough to justify the alternative Manners of Service, you'll have to continue your efforts until the Judge is satisfied.
What is considered "Routine Service"?
Routine Service is first attempt is made within 48 hours of the receiving the service documents and payment has been made. Then morning, noon and night attempts are made within 7 days, giving us a 7 day window for service. If your job needs to be ...
What is Substitute Service?
Substitute Service on an individual can be made If an individual defendant cannot be personally served after required "due diligence" attempts, substituted service may be made. Substituted service is made by leaving a copy of the service documents ...
What is Personal Service?
PERSONAL SERVICE ON AN INDIVIDUAL Is made when the documents for service are delivered directly to the defendant or witness. It is usually presumed that the process server delivers the documents in hand to the person and that service is made ...
What is Service of Process?
Service of process is a United States legal procedure that requires each party to a lawsuit (Defendant or person whom the action is targeting), that they should be appropriately notified of an initial legal action to another party, court, or ...
What is Defendant Location/Skip Tracing?
If you don't know where the defendant currently resides we can find that information through a process called Defendant Location, also known as Skip Tracing. A "Skip" is a colloquialism for a person who leaves a trail of debts and moves away in the ...