If you’re being sued or are named in a legal matter like a divorce or child support order, the other party will serve you with papers, a task most often carried out by a professional process server. But what happens when you avoid a process server's attempts to reach you? What impact does it have on your legal case? Below are the answers to these questions along with what might happen when a defendant or other named party evades the serving of papers.
You Can Still Be Sued
Don't assume that because a process server couldn't officially hand you papers, you can't still be sued. While your lack of accessibility does make the normal legal process harder, it doesn’t stop the case from moving forward. The individual suing or naming you in the case will usually have to submit evidence to the courts that they made a good faith effort to serve you. From there, the courts will determine what happens next.
The Papers May Be Mailed to You
One of the more common options judges will choose is leaving the official papers with another adult--someone over the age of 18--who is present at the defendant's home or business. If these attempts are unsuccessful, the judge might mail the summons to the defendant. The papers will typically be sent as certified mail, which requires a confirmation of receipt so, the courts are made aware that the intended party did indeed receive the summons.
A Notice Might Be Posted in the Newspaper
If any of the above efforts are not successful, the judge might approve of posting a notice in the defendant's local newspaper. This announcement would more than likely appear in the classifieds section and inform the defendant of the next steps they need to take. Because of the public nature of this option, a newspaper notice is usually a last resort.
By understanding the potential ramifications of avoiding a process server, you can make the most legally sound decisions for navigating your case. When you need to serve a summons or perform any other legal document delivery, trust AAA Legal Process, LLC. They provide several legal services to clients throughout Oahu, Hawaii, including process serving, paperwork notarizing, and document retrieval. Call (808) 729-1778 or visit their website to see a list of services.