Can I have someone serve my ex, instead of his lawyer? 35 Answers as of June 28, 2013

This is for family court.

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Lombardi Law LLC
Lombardi Law LLC | SUZANNE LOMBARDI
The question would be why do you want to serve your ex instead of his attorney. In most cases it is easier to serve the attorney and less costly. If the attorney will not accept service then you can hire a process server to serve your ex-husband. If he is already your ex then there is a possibility that his attorney is not still involved in the case and you will have to serve him with anything that you file with the court.
Answer Applies to: Alaska
Replied: 8/8/2012
Victor Varga | Victor Varga
Anyone who is 18 years of age or older and not a party to the case can serve.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 8/7/2012
Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
In Michigan, any competent adult can serve process. You can serve your husband and do not have to serve his attorney.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/7/2012
Law Office of Charles M. Vacca Jr. | Charles Martin Vacca Jr.
Service of process is usually completed through the party client (unless attorney accepts service).
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 6/28/2013
Law Offices of Maryanne Spryszak-Hanna PC | Maryanne Spryszak-Hanna
Why? Service is service. It's not about embarassing the other party. If his lawyer is willing to accept service, just serve him/her. He/she cannot legally avoid service if he she says that he she is. On the other hand, you ex can make a process server chase him, running up process bills. It's faster and cheaper to let that lawyer accept service. BUT be certain that he/she is willing to accept servicve before sending some one out there.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/7/2012
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/29/2013
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot | Susan Correia Champa
    If it is a complaint or a subpeona you need to serve your Husband directly. However, if it is a motion or some other type of pleading then you need to serve his counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
    If a case has already been started by your spouse and you have been served, your response should be served on the lawyer. If you are going to initiate the process, serve you husband.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
    Any person over age 18 can serve. He/she must fill out the proof of service form so it can be sent to the court.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/29/2013
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    I don't know why you would. If he has a lawyer, it is usually much easier to serve the lawyer. If the lawyer is not representing him on the divorce or custody case you may have to serve your ex.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
    Whom you serve, depends on the circumstances. If his lawyer has appeared and in the notice of appearance has stated that he can accept service, the lawyer is served. If not, the party is served. The other party in a family case cannot perfect service. It must be done by a third party.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    Need more info, Do you want to serve him with a complaint for divorce or just a subpeona or motion etc in an action already started? The short answer is you can always just serve the other party as long as the person serving is licensed to do so. When there is an action already started and both sides have counsel the lawyers most of the time would rather except service for their client.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    THE LOCKHART LAW FIRM | CLAYTON LOCKHART
    If your ex already has an attorney of record in a current proceeding, then generally all pleadings have to be delivered to the attorney and not to your ex personally.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    If he has an attorney engaged and representing him, service on the attorney is all that is necessary.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    It isn't clear what you want served or why. You refer to your "ex" but don't indicate if the case involves a divorce or something else. If it is the initial Summons to start the case, that must be served personally on the Respondent and he would have to authorize his lawyer to accept service for him. So, nothing prevents serving him directly. If it involves serving paperwork after the case is in progress, generally service (mail or delivery) should be on his attorney, but there is nothing to prohibit sending it directly to him. The problem with leaving his attorney out of the loop is that you don't have much complaint against the attorney if he fails to do something because your ex- didn't tell about it.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    In Rhode Island, constables and sheriffs serve the papers. I imagine that in your state, there are similar process servers. Call Family Court and ask.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Serve his lawyer, if he has one unless what you are doing requires personal service on your ex.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    You need to consult with and retain an attorney, especially if he has one. You can only serve his attorney if the attorney will accept service, and that is a specific process. Otherwise, you need a private process server or a sheriff to serve him properly.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    Yes the person must complete the summons and service reply form.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    If a party has a lawyer, the lawyer is served with the papers in lieu of personal service on the party.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Law Office of William L Spern | William Spern
    Serve what? A complaint must be served on the party. After an attorney has appeared, the attorney is served thereafter.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    I do not know why you would want to go to the extra expense if serving his lawyer is sufficient service. Ask your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    Your attorney should have the papers served either by certified mail, by the sheriff or by a process server.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    Lawyers do not serve their own clients, but a client can waive service of process which is usually done by the sheriff or a private process server. Your lawyer can get the ex's lawyer accept the pleading, but if it is a motion for contempt, the ex should be served by the sheriff.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    If he has an attorney, you need to serve the attorney that represents him. If the attorney does not represent him in the divorce, then you can serve the ex directly.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC | Louis Leibowitz
    Original process, like a Complaint, generally MUST be served on the party himself, not on his lawyer. Subsequent filings should be served on the lawyer. If you want to serve your ex to harass him, you won't be scoring any points with the judge.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Thomas P. Carnes, Attorney & Mediator | Thomas P. Carnes
    As with most questions, the answer is it depends. First, there are some documents, generally petitions commencing the lawsuit, that have to be served on the other party, with citation. With regard to these pleadings, service on the lawyer rather than the party is ineffective unless the lawyer agrees, in writing, to accept service on his or her client. Once the pleading is filed, the other party's first pleading is generally an answer, a counterpetition, or both. Once the other side files a pleading, signed by a lawyer, service must be on the lawyer rather than the party, using one of the means specified in Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 21a. These methods are generally fax, certified mail, or hand delivery. Requiring service of these documents, once the lawyer appears, makes perfect sense given his or her obligations in representing the other party, and ensures that the lawyer receives all pleadings filed. I hope that this response answered your question, and was helpful to you.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Durkin & Graham, P.C.
    Durkin & Graham, P.C. | Joan Durkin
    If you are serving a contempt citation (where you are asking that he be put in jail) it has to be served on him. Otherwise, if the case is pending and he is already represented by counsel, then what you are serving is served on the attorney. An attorney cannot bypass the lawyer of record to send communication directly to the party. There is no limit on a nonlawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Is the lawyer still representing her?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    Service of a law suit in Arkansas has to be done by a licensed process server or the Sheriff's Office. If the case is already open and your ex has a lawyer his lawyer is his agent and any documents that require service on him must be done through his lawyer. If the case is already open, you may serve his lawyer by regular mail but I suggest you do so by certified mail to prevent the other side from claiming they did not receive it.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    For service, you can pay to have the Civil Sheriff serve him if you have a valid address for him. You could save money and have him execute a waiver of formal service and give him or his attorney a certified copy of your petition.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    The Law Offices of Mandy J. McKellar
    The Law Offices of Mandy J. McKellar | Mandy J. McKellar
    Depends on what your serving. But most likely no if he has a lawyer retained its better to serve them.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/29/2013
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