California  |  Family Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 6/17/13, 8:27 pm

California question: In serving court papers to someone in a divorce proceeding, I read online about "substitute service". My brother's situation is that the party being served will not answer the door when she is at home; her 22 year old son answers the door, the server verified that the woman was indeed at home, just not answering the door. The server proceeds to tell the adult son that he has court papers that are very important to give to his mom (the woman being served), please be sure to give them to her. Less than two minutes later, she can be heard by us (outside and around the corner from the home) screaming inside the house. Is this a LEGAL substitute service in California?

3 Answers


Answered on: 6/17/13, 8:30 pm by Anthony Roach

I think the argument can be made that it is valid personal service. Substituted service is when the person to be served cannot be located, and papers are left with someone over the age of 18 at the residence, and then followed up with copies mailed to that address where the papers were left.


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Law Office of Anthony A. Roach 9909 Topanga Canyon, Ste.313 Chatsworth, CA 91311

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Answered on: 6/18/13, 11:16 pm by John Laurie

Mr Roach is correct. It does appear that the individual in question was served.

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Gertz and Laurie 18321 Ventura Boulevard Suite 900 Tarzana, CA 91356

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Answered on: 6/19/13, 12:14 am by Christopher M. Brainard, Esq.

Actually as stated substitute service is only complete upon mailing an additional service copy to the service address and person served.


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Law Offices of C. M. Brainard - (310) 266-4115 1003 South Catalina Ave., Unit C Redondo Beach, CA 90277

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