Legal Question in Family Law in California

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?

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

3 Answers from Attorneys

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. 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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Answered on 6/17/13, 8:30 pm

John Laurie Gertz and Laurie

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

This gratuitous response does not create an attorney client relationship. The advice provided herein is generic, may not apply to your circumstances and is not to be relied upon in your actions. An attorney client relationship is created only upon execution of an engagement letter or retainer agreement hiring me or my firm.

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Answered on 6/18/13, 11:16 pm
Christopher M. Brainard, Esq. C. M. Brainard & Associates - (310) 266-4115

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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Answered on 6/19/13, 12:14 am

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