I have a divorce case pending in San Mateo county, California. I had the divorce papers served on the respondent by substitute service at a UPS store (usual place of mailing) pursuant to California Family Code Section 2331/CCP Code 415.20. The respondent does not have a physical address because he is homeless. My judgment packet was submitted and after waiting several months, the commissioner rejected my judgment due to "improper service". Is there a way to fight this ruling? If so, how?? I'm acting as pro per and do not have the financial means to afford an attorney. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Without knowing anything about how the substitute service was done, there is no way to guess what was wrong with it, or if the commissioner was just unaware of the law on service to designated mail receiving agents. You try the Self-Help Center/Family Law Facilitator - http://www.sanmateocourt.org/self_help/contact_us.php and see if they can sort it out for you or point you in the right direction. If not, you are going to have to scrape together a few hundred dollars for an attorney consultation. Chances are you can find an attorney who can help you on a "limited scope" basis pretty inexpensively. If you are willing to come up to San Francisco, I'd be happy to help you. My first consultation of up to an hour is at 1/2 my regular hourly rate, and in most cases that is all the client needs for something like this.
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