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Five years ago, I filed for divorce in the Los Angeles county

courts. I had asked my...
Five years ago, I filed for divorce in the Los Angeles county courts. I had asked my wife to leave my residence due to incompatibility four years prior. At the time I had filed, she had been a resident of Flagstaff Az. when I asked her to leave. I had sent three registered certified papers informing her of the divorce. She had refused to accept delivery and lives in a rural area which only uses a P.O. Box. She has made it impossible for me to complete my divorce and since it has been over nine or ten years with no contact, I have met someone of whom I wish to marry. What do I need to do. I have a case file number with Los Angeles County but I don't know what to do.

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Answered in 6 minutes by:
1/2/2013
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,486
Experience: Attorney with 17 years experience
Verified
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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If you have her address, you would need to hire a process server in AZ to actually serve your divorce complaint on her. The best option for you would likely be the sheriff as they are used to going into rural areas to serve legal papers. If you contact your local sheriff, they can usually arrange to send the paperwork to the sherrif in the county where she lives for service. Sheriff's offices typically do this as a professional courtesy to other sheriffs.
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You would want to check to see if your original case was still active or had been dismissed for "lack of prosecution". The courts will typically purge their records of open cases and administratively dismiss cases that haven't moved forward after a few years.
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Please don't forget to rate my service "OK" or higher. It is only then that I receive credit for my work.

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” or “CONTINUE CONVERSATION” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

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Hello again,
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I noticed you rated my service as "poor". Did you have further questions or need clarification on my answer?
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Yes I have submitted twice additional information which has gone unanswered.


 


 

I am sorry, but I don't see any other replies. JA can be a bit buggy at times so if you can hit "reply" and repost your comments, I will be happy to continue to help.
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Barrister
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

I have sent the message twice after hitting the reply. It appears that your service is not all it's cracked up to be. Do you want me to resubmit a third time which I am concerned about doing or can you call me or may I call you.

Unfortunately JA prohibits experts from communication outside this forum. I apologize for the inconvenience, but if you could try again, hopefully it will go through this time. Since it hasn't showed up, you don't have to worry about it floating around somewhere, it just didn't come through.
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Barrister
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

As I had stated in two prior replies, as of ten years ago, she had moved back onto her son's property which is several acreages, has no street address making it impossible for me to have a process server or refer to the sheriff department. I don't even know if she is alive or dead or maybe she had file for divorce. Please let me know if you receive this third attempt.

Got it. Thank you for bearing with me. There is a process where a married person can file for divorce and get "service by publication". This requires them to get permission from the judge to allow them to publish notice in the local newspaper of the divorce action and get "constructive service" that way. The petitioner must convince the judge that they have done everything they can to have the other party served with the divorce complaint and that they have been unable to do so.
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If you were to have the local sheriff forward the divorce complaint to the sheriff in AZ where you think she may be living and he is unable to serve her, I would opine that a judge would agree that you have done everything you can reasonably do to get her served. Then he would allow you to use the service by publication method to move forward with the divorce.
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This is the process:
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Once you have taken all the steps your can before asking to serve by publication:

  • Write up a “Declaration of Due Diligence,” which is a document where you tell the court every attempt you made to find the other side. Include as much detail as possible. For example, if you called friends and family, write down the dates and what they told you. If you mailed a letter to the last known address, explain when you sent it, what address you sent it to, and what the result was. You have to sign this document under penalty of perjury. There is no form for this, but you can use a Declaration (Form MC-030). Your court’s self-help center may have a local form to help you with this step too.
  • Complete an ex parte request for the court order allowing you to serve by publication. You must also attach a proposed order. Again, ask your court’s self-help center if they have a local form for this.
  • If the court grants your request to serve by publication, the judge will sign your proposed order, and allow you to publish your court document in a newspaper of general circulation in the area.
    • You can make these arrangements with the newspaper. Court clerks usually have a list of newspapers that the court accepts for this purpose. You will have to publish it for 4 weeks in a row, at least once a week.
    • The newspaper must give you an affidavit showing the time and place the document was published.
  • Service by publication is complete at the end of the 28th day after the first date the summons and complaint are published in the newspaper.
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So you have to jump through some hoops, but you can get it done as the law doesn't force a person to remain married just because their spouse is unable to be located.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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Please don't forget to rate my service "OK" or higher. It is only then that I receive credit for my work.

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” or “CONTINUE CONVERSATION” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.


Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,486
Experience: Attorney with 17 years experience
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Hello, in response to your recent inquire, I am informing you that I am in the process of moving from SoCal to NoCal and all my paperwork has been boxed and ready for transit. I will be relocating at the end of this month and once settled in and reorganized, I will be able to follow your suggestions. I will advise you of the status and if needed further information that I may require from your area of expertise in guidance.


 


Again, Thank You


Terence H. Lee

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Barrister
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,486
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