My neighbor was serving papers to my ex husband for an upcoming OSC. His live-in girlfriend answered the door and grabbed the paperwork out of the hands of my neighbor and even though my ex-husband was standing right there, my neighbor did not get the paper work directly into his hands first. Will this create a problem for me when I appear at the hearing?
3 Answers from Attorneys
Your ex husband was served. Be sure your neighbor properly fills out the proof of service and that you file the original with the court.
There are two types of personal service. The first is personal service of a summons, which generally must be placed in the hands of the person served (Code Civ. Proc., § 415.10.) “‘Personal service’ means the actual delivery of the papers to the defendant in person.” (Sternbeck v. Buck (2nd Dist. 1957) 148 Cal.App.2d 829, 833.)
Then there is personal delivery service, set forth in Code of Civil Procedure section 1011, subdivision (b). Based on your post, you had him served by this latter method.
It is a valid form of service, but I once had a problem with a judge that did not understand the difference and thought that my prior service was invalid. So, I cannot guarantee that there won't be any problems, or that your ex won't create one.
Once your ex was personally served with the summons and appeared in the action, you should shift to having him served by mail. Your neighbor can help you with that, and it avoids embarassing confrontations.