Do legal documents have to be delivered personally? 16 Answers as of July 03, 2013

If a person is served legal documents are they allowed to leave them on a front porch or do they have to serve the papers to you in person?

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
In most cases, personal service is required unless a court order permits otherwise.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/24/2011
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
Since there is no guarantee that papers left on someone's porch gives them proper notice, then use a constable or Certified Mail Restricted Delivery to make sure that the recipient gets his "due process."
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 9/2/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
The answer depends on the nature of the legal documents. In most cases, to commence a legal action, documents must be served personally by leaving them with a person of suitable age and maturity residing in the defendant's residence.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/18/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
The answer depends partly on what "legal documents" you are referring to. If those documents are, in fact, required to be served personally (meaning delivered to the person), simply leaving it on the porch is insufficient - it must be given to a live person. Whether that person is deemed to have the authority to accept service will depend on the exact facts and who that person is.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/16/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
It depends on the documents and the circumstances. For example, eviction papers can be left on the door. Divorce papers must be delivered. However, "delivered" does not mean put into your hands and accepted. If a process server approaches and identifies you and tries to hand you papers, you refuse and run inside the house and lock the door, he can drop them on the porch and walk off, you have been served. If the Court finds that process has been attempted and failed and that placing the papers on the door is sufficient then putting them on the door is sufficient (though the court order saying this is sufficient should also be attached). If the person leaving the papers on the porch is the other party (this is all too common in a divorce in which one side buys the forms online) then leaving them on the porch has as much affect as throwing them in the trash - if you dig them out and respond, it worked, but if you never look or even if you find them and never respond, so what.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Legal documents must be served personally by a deputy sheriff or a court-appointed process server.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Elmbrook Law Offices
    Elmbrook Law Offices | Gregory Straub
    Service of process is different in each county. Some counties require in person service. Other counties allow for mail service.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    Posting is not sufficient for purposes of service. Service of most legal documents must be accomplished in person, via substitute service to someone over 18 who lives in the household, an authorized recipient or by publication. I suggest you consult an attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    adode service is acceptable under most circumstances
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/13/2011
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