Can an attorney go to court and win a judgement against a defendant who they have not served, even if they have proof that the defendant owes the debt?

Asked on September 7, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Maryland


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country in order for a plaintiff to prevail against a defendant in a civil action, the plaintiff or his/her attorney must prove to the court that the defendant was served with the summons and complaint to prevail.

Service can be by way of personal service, sub-service, publication or certified mailing, return receipt requested depending upon where the defendant resides.

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