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Were You Properly Served?

Whether a lawsuit was just filed against you or there's an old judgment against you, it's never too late to revisit whether you were served a copy of the lawsuit.


Typically a lawsuit must be served by a process server who finds at home or elsewhere and hands you a copy of the complaint. If you're not at home, they can leave it with someone of suitable age. If they cannot find you at all, they can serve it by publishing it in a local newspaper a few times, if the court gives them permission to do so.





Would you be surprised to learn that often times, lawsuits are not properly served? It's true. We have seen the following types of service, something we debt defense lawyers call "sewer service." Here's a sample list:

  • The process server says the address does not exist, when in actuality, it does exist

  • The process server says they served a person at their residence, but the person lives in a guard-gated community, and the consumer never buzzed a stranger in to their development

  • The consumer lives at another address at the time of the alleged service

  • They said the served a "white person" but the client is black or hispanic or asian

In addition, they have a limited time frame in which to serve, must use due diligence to serve you, and must properly obtain extensions of time to serve.

Mistakes or false service of a lawsuit is one of the main reasons people have default judgments improperly taken against them.

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