How to get rid of a process server?

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by bladzalot, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. bladzalot

    bladzalot Member

    Hey all,

    I have been a member for a long long time and have gotten alot of help from this forum. Lately, I have had process servers coming to my door about once a month looking for my wife. I just keep telling them that this is not their residence anymore and I shut the door but I am sick and tired of them bugging us.

    Is there ANYTHING you can do to stop them, does a "No Soliciting" sign legally deter them? Any advice outside of accepting the papers would be great. I am sure it is on an ancient debt that is about to reach the statute of limitations since they started showing up just as soon as we bought a home.

    Thanks all!!
  2. sparq

    sparq Well-Known Member

    You said she no longer lives there, but then you said "we bought a home". I'm a little confused (a natural state for me, but I digress).

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the fact that you're being served mean you've already been sued? If so, you need to accept the papers and answer the suit immediately. I don't know how other states work, but in mine, first you get a process server or the sheriff. If he/she can't serve, it goes out by certified mail. If the certified mail is refused or unclaimed, it goes out by regular first-class mail, which constitutes proper service.

    So if you've already been sued, ignoring the process server is probably the worst thing you can do. On the other hand, if she really does not live there, then feel free to safely ignore my post. :)
  3. bladzalot

    bladzalot Member

    No, I told the Process Server that she no longer lives here. They cannot sue you until they can prove service, first class mail is not service, what if you are no longer at address? You have to get someone to claim the paperwork before you have been legally served, otherwise everyone would just mail paperwork and the whole process would be a joke.

    I have not claimed to be the person, nor have I accepted any paperwork, and there are no judgements on either of our credit reports.

    So back to the first question, how do I get rid of the process server?
  4. ccbob

    ccbob Well-Known Member

    I don't know what state you're in, but, you might want to make sure your assumptions are valid. There are usually ways to serve a person that don't require a signature to cover the deadbeat, runaway, dropped-off-the-planet, etc. cases. Aside from first-class mail, some places just require you to run a public notice in a newspaper that serves your last known whereabouts.

    In other words, hiding from the process server will only delay things, not put them off indefinitely. If they've resorted to another, "non-signature" form of service, you could find yourself worse off than you are. By the time you see it in your credit report, it will be too late to do anything about it.
  5. sbl1956

    sbl1956 Member

    be careful - in my state (SC), the suit is filed, then the papers are served - if they cannot perfect service in person or by certified mail, they can do it by publication in the newspaper - and if you don't respond, they get a judgement - I have worked in insurance claims and for law offices for many many years, so I am familiar with the processes here - I would def. NOT ignore this - you could end up with a huge judgement, including their attorneys fees and court costs....
  6. sparq

    sparq Well-Known Member

    Well said. Even if the lawsuit is ridiculous and without merit and launched in bad faith and time-barred and based on fraudulent evidence and every aspect of the case is 110% in your favor, you still need to defend yourself. The first step of that is learning your state's laws pertaining to service and civil procedure.

    One thing I've learned from sitting in on court cases for the past year is that there is a HUGE discrepancy between what people believe the law to be and how the court sees the law. A lot of defendants (not saying you, OP) figure that what they saw on Judge Judy works in a real court and wind up losing badly. Or a defendant thinks they're clever and pulls out some technicality as a defense and gets wiped out. I've witnessed a few dozen credit card debt cases where a defendant starts citing laws and precedent that they obviously pulled from a website without fully understanding them. The moment the plaintiff makes an objection or cites precedent to the contrary, the defendant is lost.

    Please don't be that defendant. Make sure you understand your state's laws on proper service before you assume that you're effectively blocking service. Also, I would immediately check with the court (see if they have an online portal) to see if your wife has been sued (probably). If so, start reading up on defending yourself, because your wife will need to appear in court and know her game.
  7. sparq

    sparq Well-Known Member

    One more thing: If a suit was filed before the SOL expired, then the SOL defense is over. All they have to do is file suit before the time runs out; they can delay while they serve you with paperwork. And from my understanding, even if a default judgment is entered and your wife appeals and a new trial is granted, the SOL is still out the window because the first suit was filed in time.

    I could be wrong, but I would definitely not bank on the SOL in your case.
  8. knowmaster

    knowmaster New Member

    ok I thought i already replied but my post is goe anyway no matter what any fake lawyer tells you they MUST MUST MUST hand delliver, otherwise like you said anyone could take it. if u don't accept service you can delay proceedings up to 18 months (as per fcdpa) but then they can run an ad in the paper but unless youre state requires you to have a newspaper subscripton this is bogus, you can raise that as an defense at trial. what are they gonna do pay you back for buying a paper lol don't think so. you're doing the riht thing, just play it cool
  9. Hedwig

    Hedwig Well-Known Member

    That is definitely not true in many states.

    Ask the many people who have default judgments against them because they were served by mail at the last known address or through publication in the paper.

    And let me fill you in on "publication in a newspaper servicing your area." When I had to put a public notice in the paper, at the advice of the clerk of court, we published it in the paper with the lowest advertising rates--and the lowest circulation. It doesn't even have to be the major newspaper in your area.

    Here's another thing for the OP to consider. If this is a joint debt, OR if he lives in a community property state, the judgment will be against him as well as his wife.
  10. woofer

    woofer Well-Known Member

    You would be wise to accept the paperwork. This way you know what you are up against. Would you rather be sleeping some night and have some thug legally removing your vehicle? You need to know what is happening, and then go from there. You may be out of SOL or the debt is not yours, BUT if you ignore you will get a judgement by default. Don't let this happen to you. Woofer
  11. jjgross

    jjgross Well-Known Member

    While you have been given very good advice and i hope you follow it.There's another option called the .357 dance when he tries to serve you make him dance to a .357.Solves your problem by the time your out of prison the sol will be up and they can't report it you address the problem it is solve able.Your going to have less headaches.
  12. Big Al

    Big Al Active Member

  13. woofer

    woofer Well-Known Member

    I wish people would not be so afraid of all of this as the person that is giving you the summons is no better or worse than you are . I remember once getting a summons inmy mail box for an elderly Aunt as I was her guardian and this was her last known address. The server was a sheriff and I spoke to him on the phone about the summons and told him about my Aunt and how she was on oxygen and 88 years old and he told me not to worry about it, that it was going the wayside and he would take care of the matter. I was at least a little smart about wanting paperwork and the good sheriff sent me the paper work stating that the summons had been withdrawn What a nice guy huh? I voted for him in the next election. He won : )
  14. ntrillo

    ntrillo New Member

    I am a process server based out of San Diego, California and to answer your question the server does not even necessarily have to hand it to your wife. There are multiple ways around that. The easiest thing you can do is accept the papers and move forward from there. Trying to avoid the inevitable is just going to make it worse for both parties in the end. Try contacting her and letting her know the trouble she is causing you. Remember most process servers are immune from minor trespassing laws so a "No Soliciting" sign on your property will do you as much good as a "Beware of Dog" sign. I hope this is helpful but if you have anymore questions my company's name is eServe and we can be found throughout the Southern California area or at Thank You.
  15. SperoServ

    SperoServ New Member

    There is ALOT of misunderstanding about this, and I am sure that this has been long ago resolved, but I am a Process Server, and I can tell you, if he kept coming back, then he has probably verified your address. This is bad news if you were trying to avoid him. Long story short, getting away with avoiding service is something that is almost impossible.

    The above quote simply isn't true, and is a misunderstanding of the law. Here is why: in order for "Personal Service" to be valid, the Process Server must (depending on your state) either give the documents to the defendant(make no mistake you are already being sued, you are the defendant) or a person over a certain age who resides at the given address, once the address is verified. The address can be verified in ALOT of different ways, but I am not going to give away trade secrets. However, Personal Service is not the only form of service the Server has at his disposal. Service by Email is becoming more and more common. Substitute Service can, and often does include just posting it to your door. This is NOT good for you, as the #1 complaint that process servers receive is that papers were not on the door, meaning the tape gave way and they fell, maybe blew into the front yard, or the neighbors yard etc You may never get them if this happens, and the plaintiff can move forward without you. You also need to be aware that in many states, avoiding service can be a misdemeanor.
  16. greeneyez

    greeneyez Well-Known Member

    Has your wife tried checking the court dockets? Not only your local courts, but also in larger cities where you are close to?
  17. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    The original thread was in 2009.

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