Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Does the Defendant Need to Sign for the Documents Being Served on Them?

A common question asked by individuals and sometimes even paralegals is “What if the defendant doesn’t want to sign for the papers being served to them?” When service of process is attempted on a person, the server does not need to have the subject sign for the legal documents. If the party or witness refuses to accept the legal documents, the server may leave the documents in a place where the person served has reasonable access to them, commonly known as a “drop serve” which would constitute a proper serve. (see What Makes a Process Service Valid blog) In the case of In Re Ball, said, “…when within easy speaking distance…service cannot be avoided by denying service and moving away without consenting to take the document in hand”.

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