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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102161
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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How to avoid serving?

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How to avoid serving?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

Can you please tell me:

1) What state is this in;
2) Is this a state or federal case; and
3) Do you mean how to avoid serving a Defendant, or being served? And why do you seek to do this?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I filed a restraining order againt someone. I got the TRO but I did not win in the FRO hearing. Now I am sure that He is going to sue me for "false allegations". he lives in NJ, and I live in NY


Thank you for your clarification. So in other words, you are asking:

How do I avoid being served, can I, and if so, what does this mean for the case?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


How do I avoid? possibly moving to a far away state.

Yes and what does it mean for the case. We own a property too in NY which is jointly owned by spouse.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hey Ely,

Are you still working with me?


I am... I am typing out my answer now and am attempting to be thorough, so hence the wait. My apologies in advance for the momentary wait while I type out the answer...
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No probelm. Please take your time. Additional info:

property has some equity too. Most of it is still owned by Bank as we have not paid off.


Thank you for your clarification. First of all, please note that unless you know for a fact that the other person has filed suit, they may never file. Many individuals claim that they will file a lawsuit as a means to threaten someone or out of anger, but it often does not happen.

However, in worst case scenario, if they file a lawsuit, avoiding service is likely not a good decision. This is because if one avoids service, the Plaintiff can simply ask the Court to approve service by substitution once the Plaintiff shows that you cannot be found. Then, the Court will allow service by publication (court wall, newsletter) or whatever other way it seems fit.

Once the service is done by publication, the Plaintiff can then get a default judgment, and may try to locate assets to satisfy that judgment by using public records such as:

1. Dissolution Decrees and Property Settlement Agreements;
2. Statements and Schedules in a dismissed bankruptcy case;
3. UCC Filings;
4. Secretary of State Department of Motor Vehicles;
5. Credit Reports;
6. Corporation Commission;
7. County Assessor’s Office; and
8. County Recorder’s Office.

So they can likely find the property in NY.

Ergo, simply skipping the state may not be a good idea. One stands a better chance ANSWERING the suit and fighting it. Let me know if you need leads for pro bono / low cost work in the area. You can always try to run from the state and the Plaintiff may never find you, but, they may end up having a judgment anyhow once you do not answer after substitute service is executed.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Again, let me know if you need leads for pro bono / low cost counsel.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

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