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Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq, Lawyer
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Experience:  30 years of experience
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How can plaintiff serve defendant after filing lawsuit just

Customer Question

How can plaintiff serve defendant after filing lawsuit just prior to statute of limitation ran and can't find defendant?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Gerald, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

Thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

You can use what is called substitute service under Rule 106b of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

Rule 106. Method of Service

  • Unless the citation or an order of the court otherwise directs, the citation shall be served by any person authorized by Rule 103 by
    1. delivering to the defendant, in person, a true copy of the citation with the date of delivery endorsed thereon with a copy of the petition attached thereto, or
    2. mailing to the defendant by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a true copy of the citation with a copy of the petition attached thereto.
  • Upon motion supported by affidavit stating the location of the defendant ’s usual place of business or usual place of abode or other place where the defendant can probably be found and stating specifically the facts showing that service has been attempted under either (a)(I) or (a)(2) at the location named in such affidavit but has not been successful, the court may authorize service
  • (1) by leaving a true cope of the citation, with a copy of the petition attached, with anyone over sixteen years of age at the location specified in such affidavit, or
  • (2) in any other manner that the affidavit or other evidence before the court shows will be reasonably effective to give the defendant notice of the suit.

You must ask the Court for permission to serve by this method. The following article provides a detailed description of the process:

http://texaslawhelp.org/files/685E99A9-A3EB-6584-CA74-137E0474AE2C/attachments/F83F0B2E-0CCD-4B0F-9FF9-1D8B7891571F/sub_service_kit_final.pdf

Also, you should know that if the defendant is in hiding, or has absented himself from the state that the law provides for the "tolling" of the statute of limitations. Tolling basically means stopping the clock while the defendant is in hiding.

This article discusses this issue in detail:

http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/117443.pdf

I hope the information I have provided is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow up questions, feel free to ask. Please note that I am generally unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

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Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.