A lawsuit can not officially commence until the defendant is served with the legal papers in New York City. Many individuals believe that they can avoid the lawsuit or even have it dismissed if they evade the process server altogether. This is a common falsehood that defendants make. The law provides that although personal service is necessary in most cases, the Court can allow other options for service if there is knowledge that the party is attempting to evade process or there isn’t enough information as to the address of the party to be personally serve.
To begin with, the easiest option on service is personal service if you can get it. Personal service is when a process server personally hands the legal document initiating a court case on to a defendant. This is the best option for service, and New York requires that it be attempted multiple times before a plaintiff turns to the alternative methods. With respect to personal service, the papers do not have to touch the individual or needed to be acknowledged. You can drop the papers in front of the person and say “You Joe Smith have been served and most likely the Court would deem that personal service. The process server would have to describe the individual served, the location of service and any other particulars that would make it succinct to the Court that the party to the action was delivered the legal papers. It is advisable to have GPS coordinates and a photograph of the area and or of the person if possible as well.
If the individual to be served is great at avoiding process that it would be impossible to get to the point of personal service then a Plaintiff can seek alternatives. The Court can allow these alternatives depending on their discretion. The alternatives would be a)Leaving court papers at the defendant’s home or business with a competent adult; and/or b) Mailing a copy of the summons and complaint via certified mail to the defendant’s home or business. If this information is not known or if it is difficult or not possible, a judge will grant the plaintiff permission to serve you via publication. This involves taking out ads in local newspapers. It will cost some money to publish but you can use a local newspaper where the party’s last known address was. The party to be served does not have to see the service but it would let the world know that a lawsuit has been initiated. That would be sufficient for the Court.
Evading process is very difficult to do in New York City. Although it may take time to serve using alternative methods, eventually you will get your man. If you need assistance with the service of legal papers in New York City we can help at DJ&H Process Service. Call us at 718-843-1184 if you need assistance.