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Under CA law, they must serve notice on the tenant either personally or by the "nail and mail" method, which involves maling a notice to the tenant and posting notice on the door of the apartment. If they never served you with any notice, then you have grounds to file your motion to vacate judgment.
[§31.9] Service of Summons by Posting
The summons in an unlawful detainer action may be served by
posting only after the court has been satisfied that the defendant cannot be served by any other method using reasonable diligence. CCP §415.45.
When service is made by posting, two affidavits of service must be filed with the court: one from the person who posted the summons on the property, showing when and where it was posted; and another showing when and where copies of the summons and complaint were mailed to the defendant. CCP §417.10(e). See: http://www2.courtinfo.ca.gov/protem/pubs/bg31.pdf
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