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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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Does mailing a summons by certified or registered mail constitute

Resolved Question:

Does mailing a summons by certified or registered mail constitute valid service, even if the letter is never picked up or signed for? In other words, can I avoid service of the summons if I just do not pick it up from the post office, and/or refuse to sign for the mail. Does it matter if I live in a state other than NY? Is it any different if I live in another state? I understand I can be served with the summons/subpoena different ways, such as by a process server who comes to my home or office. My question only pertains to service by mail. What if I am away for an extended vacation, and I do not get my mail for one month and the summons comes by certified letter, and I do not find out about it until long after I return home. It, therefore, seems to me that I can avoid certified mail service of a summons/subpoena by just not picking up the letter or signing for it. Please let me know your answer. Thank You.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Tina replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for contacting our JA team.


In my opinion, your attorney was right. If it is obvious you are attempting to avoid service, the court will frown upon your actions to evade service. If you were on an extended vacation or they sent it to the wrong address, then you would have a basis for challenging service. If it is alleged that you purposefully evaded service, the court has the power to assess costs to the plaintiff.


Since you have been served, it is important that you timely answer the complaint/summons.


I am sorry that you are being pulled into litigation as it can be very stressful. If you feel you should retain a different attorney in your area, is a good resource for finding the right one for you. I do not know what area of law you are looking for, so cannot provide any input regarding that.


I hope the new year brings better things to you!


Note: please press the "accept" button so I may be paid for my time. I am available if you have follow-up questions or clarification of this answer. Thank you.


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