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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102319
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I live in California and Im ready to serve divorce papers

Resolved Question:

I live in California and I'm ready to serve divorce papers on my husband who resides in Kelowna,BC Canada.Can I serve him through certified mail? I read/heard somewhere that Ca. requires a personal server. Is this true?
Thank you.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break.

In CA, you actually have several choices. Under California Code of Civil Procedure 413.10 et seq, you can serve an individual one of three ways:

1) Certified mail,
2) Constable, or
3) Private process server.

However, because he is in Canada, the constable and private process server are somewhat impossible for the most part (you may still use a local process server in Canada, possibly), and certified mail cannot be sent to Canada. So you have to use other means.

Note that Canada is a member of Hague's Convention on Service. This means that technically, you have to send the service to the the Canadian "National Organ" and the organ will serve him, and then will reply back:

However, due to the common border and proximity of US and Canada, and common legal doctrines and language, some Courts in the US generally do not require that you follow full Hague Convention on Service laws and may allow you to serve him via FedEx or UPS - whatever it takes to get his signature. But if you want to do this without a full service via Hague Convention, then get the Court's permission ahead of time.

Best yet - if you can - have him sign off on a Waiver of Service so as to say he's been served.

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