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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 111537
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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I have a situation here and could use your suggestion. About

Customer Question

Hello. I have a situation here and could use your suggestion. About 2 years ago, my Dad and Mom separated although are still Husband / Wife. My Mom I think is actually a bit crazy and hate to admit it so my Dad never gave her or us his new address in Maryland. I have his cell number and we can see each other but have never been to his place. That way I can honestly say I do not know where he lives if my mom asks.
Anyway, this afternoon, a big guy rings the doorbell and I answered. The guy asked for my Dad and I said to him that he has not lived here for 2 years. The guy said, "THAT IS TOO BAD. THIS IS THE ADDRESS ON THE SUMMONS AND HE HAS BEEN SERVED". I said no he has not but he just left. It says District Court on it and an amount of money so probably just a debt. But since he does not live here and my Mom is crazy anyway, my Dad never gets his mail. She burns everything.Do you have any idea on what I should do with this? the Lawfirm has MANYYYYYY complaints for improper service in Maryland and also including people in debts who were never liable. Do I send this to the court. The court and the lawfirm, etc. I don't want an unfair Judgement against him when he does not have this and I do not want to call him about it. I now would rather the lawfirm get in trouble or whatever happens. Your input would be very appreciated.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Actually, if he does not live there it is not valid service. It requires personal service or service of someone of lawful age at his domicile, so what you had was a process server who gave invalid service of process. The problem is that anything you do with it would not be accepted by the court. So your dad would have to argue improper service of process in the court, since they did not serve it at his domicile and were told he did not live there.
If you do not want to call him about it, then there is nothing you can really do legally, he would have to argue the improper service of process in court, not you.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
if he attends court, couldn't the Judge then find against him right there anyway? I do know that he is judgement proof since everything still remains as TBE (lolol - I started law school so am starting to learn). So 1) Can the Judge find against him anyway in court, 2) order this case dismissed as improper service, or 3) have him served right there? Thanks
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
He is in a catch 22, unless he has an attorney file a motion to dismiss for failure of service of process in which case the attorney would attach an affidavit from your mom attesting he has not resided there for 2 years and she does not have a forwarding address. The problem with going pro se is he runs into the issues you describe in your response. This is an issue with pro se representation, if he shows up to dispute it they can say he did find out about it and he appeared. If he does not show up they get a default against him then he has to fight to vacate the default or file bankruptcy and the laugh is on the plaintiff for wasting time on a useless judgment or he just fights every time they try to collect and prove he is judgment proof.