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What happens if the defendant cannot be served?

Updated August 30th 2022

2 min read

An incomplete defendant service can lead to your case getting postponed or dismissed. Find out the options you have to notify the defendant after an unsuccessful serve.

What happens if the defendant cannot be served?

What happens if the defendant cannot be served?

author

Amy Wang

Author


Dispute is the easiest & most accurate small claims platform with affordable ways to resolve every dispute.

What are the common reasons why defendant service fail?

Defendant service is typically done by an individual called the server who physically hands the defendant a copy of the court documents. If defendant service goes smoothly, the server will locate the defendant at the address you provide and personally hand them the court documents.

However, there are several reasons why defendant service may not work out smoothly. Some common reasons are:

  • The address for the defendant is outdated or wrong
  • The defendant is located in an inaccessible area (such as in a gated community, behind security, or off a private road)
  • The defendant cannot be identified or is “evading” service by the server
  • Entities or businesses no longer exist

What options are available if defendant service fails?

In the event that defendant service fails, you still have options to serve the defendant:

  • If the address for the defendant is outdated or wrong
  • If the defendant is located in an inaccessible area (such as in a gated community, behind security, or off a private road)
  • If the defendant cannot be identified or is “evading” service by the server
    • Try serving at a different time or at another location that the defendant frequents (such as place of employment or a relatives home)
    • Try requesting a proof of non-service and asking the court for substituted/alternative methods of service (such as publishing a notice in the local newspaper or dropping the court paperwork off at the defendant’s place of employment)
  • If the entities or businesses no longer exist

Can I use Dispute to these for me?

If you choose to use Dispute to serve your defendant, you can request these options listed above from your Dashboard.

Further Reading:

Serve the other party with Dispute today. Get back the money you deserve.

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