How do you serve the complaint?
T The lawsuit officially begins by serving the complaint. Different ways to serve the complaint are set by the law. The plaintiff cannot serve the complaint to the defendant. It should be served by someone else who is 18 years old or over. Depending on the nature of the relationship, it may also be handed to someone living with the defendant, or delivered to the workplace, or placed at the front door. The defendant needs to respond within the deadline.
Who are Process Servers?
Usually, the complaints are served by process servers or town sheriffs, and they cannot wait for a long time when there is no one home due to their time limitations. So, they will leave and plan to come back later if there is no answer. Therefore, if your case is time-sensitive, your complaint should not be served by those people. It might be better to hire somebody to save time. Also, you have to keep in mind that it might be challenging to verify the identity of the receiver if there is a language barrier. All servers need to write an affidavit stating when, where, and how the complaint was served. They need to include the physical characteristics of the recipient as well. When there is a language barrier, it can be challenging to get accurate information.
Misserved Complaint Can Dismiss a Case
I If you receive a complaint, you are most likely going to meet a lawyer to get some kind of advice. All the lawyers will probably verify two things. First, they will find out if the court has jurisdiction over the case. Second, they will ask how the complaint was served. These two factors are usually the main disputes at the court since the case can be easily dismissed if there are problems with these two. It is true that the plaintiff can file another complaint even when the case gets dismissed, but it will give enough time to the defendant to disappear or hide his or her personal assets. The issue over jurisdiction can be quite complicated since it requires the interpretation of the law, but it is easy to identify if there was something wrong in the process of how the complaint was served.
T Things to Remember When Planning to Sue Somebody
1. If your defendant has a different cultural background, make sure to get a photo and other personal information about him or her and share this information with the server. For some people, it can be quite challenging to estimate the age of an Asian person.
2. It is usually better to have two people serve the complaint together at the same time so that one of them can audio record or video record the moment when it is served. You could prepare a body camera. Each state has different regulations over recording conversations. So, make sure to check your own state’s regulations about this matter.
3. Have somebody get the daily routine of the defendant through surveillance. Once you figure out the pattern, it will be easier to serve the complaint directly to the defendant.
4. When serving the complaint, ask the recipient if he or she is the defendant himself or herself. Record the answer in the affidavit. The server needs to have as much personal information as possible beforehand so that he or she can include accurate information on the affidavit. If the recipient is not the defendant, it is important to ask the relationship to the defendant and record it in the affidavit.
Hire a Professional
I If the defendant claims that there was a problem in how the complaint was served, it might take several months for the judge to decide the matter. It will not only waste time and money but also give enough time to the defendant to prepare for the lawsuit. Therefore, it is important to hire professional servers who can do the job effectively.