When you initiate legal proceedings, it is your legal responsibility to notify other individuals that are involved. And, it must be completed within a certain timeframe to avoid legal complications. But, sometimes an individual knows they are going to be served and intentionally evades process service in the hopes that it will delay or eliminate legal proceedings. The reality is, even if an individual is evasive (or just very difficult to find), there are alternative process service options that will comply with legal regulations while still allowing your case to progress. It is important to note that you must petition the court to be allowed to use an alternative form of process service. If you are having a hard time completing process service, there are a few alternative forms of process service to consider:
Alternative Forms of Process Service
- Substitute Service
- Substitute service is often used when the intended recipient of process service is unavailable. They may be either intentionally avoiding service or they may be out of town. If this is the case, the process server will serve another adult that either shares a residence or place of business with the intended recipient.
- Service by Publication
- This option is used when the intended recipient of process service cannot be located. If a person cannot be located, either intentionally or unintentionally, the process server can publish a notice in a local newspaper in the area in which the individual is believed to be.
- Electronic Service
- With the advancement of technology, electronic service is an alternative form of process service that is becoming more popular. With electronic service, an individual can be served via email, social media, or other electronic means of communication. But, it is important to note that because this is a fairly new form of process service, it is not permitted in all jurisdictions. Work with an experienced process server that has knowledge and experience about local laws and regulations to ensure this method is completed legally to avoid problems with your case.
- Personal Service by Mail
- When the intended recipient of process service cannot be located, a process server can mail the documents to the last known address of the recipient. But, like electronic service, it is not permitted in all jurisdictions so it is important to ensure you can legally use this method before proceeding.