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socrateaser
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 33810
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate Broker -- Retired (mostly)
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DO I HAVE TO GET SERVED IN PERSON OR CAN THEY JUST LEAVE COURT

Customer Question

DO I HAVE TO GET SERVED IN PERSON OR CAN THEY JUST LEAVE COURT PAPERS ON MY FRONT DOOR?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

If the papers are a "summons and complaint," i.e., a document stating something like "Notice: you are being sued...," then you must be served personally. The exception is where the person serving the papers knows that you are in the house and has spoken with you, and you are intentionally refusing to open the door to accept the papers -- then the process server can drop them on the door step and announce it to you.

 

Note, that even if you haven't been properly served, the plaintiff may state that you were, and get a default judgment against you -- at which point you would have to ask the court to set aside the judgment so that you could defend. The point is that unless you have some good reason for avoiding service temporarily, you will eventually have to defend, so it may be in your nterest to just treat the documents as if they were properly served and answer the complaint.

 

That said, if the papers are not a "summons and complaint," then it doesn't matter how they are served. If you have them, then you are on legal notice of their contents.

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I AM NOT SURE WHAT THEY ARE I WAS IN THE SHOWER WHEN THEY CAME AND WHEN I WENT TO LEAVE THEY WERE THERE. SHOULD THEY NOT HAVE A DATE IF IT IS A COURT APPERANCE?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

What is the title of the document on the top page? What does it say?

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
IT SAYS IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF ISLAND. THEN A PLANTIFF NAME AND A DEFENDANT (ME) THEN IT SAYS N0 SUMMONS THERE IS NO DATE OR ANYTHING THAT I SHOULD BE ANYPLACE THE FIRST SENTANCE IS A LAWSIUT HAD BEEN STARTED AGAINST ME. IT WAS DATED DEC 2008
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

If the document has a court stamp stating the filing date, then it's an actual lawsuit. If there is no stamp, then it could be a trick to make you think you're being sued. If you want to know for sure, call the county courthouse and give the clerk the case number XXXXX ask them to confirm that it's been filed.

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
YA NO STAMP THAT IS WHAT I THOUGHT THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP. I AM DEBATING ON FILING BANKRUCPY SO THIS WOULD HAVE MADE ME MAKE MY DECSION QUICKER IF SO THANK YOU! YOU WERE GREAT!
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.
No problem. Good luck.

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