Can my roommate legally be served my divorce papers?

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Can my roommate legally be served my divorce papers?

I came home to them laying on the table. Should I have been officially “served”?

Asked on September 29, 2011 under Family Law, Arkansas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Serving a party with divorce papers - or any legal proceeding under the law - comes under what is known as the procedural laws in the state in which you live.  Generally speaking,most states prefer personal service  - actually serving the party listed a the defendant. But some times defendants avoid service so the states have methods that are permitted known as substituted service.  Serving you room mate may come under what is known in New York as serving a party of "suitable age and discretion."  Arizona law may in fact also have this method of service on their books.  But if you are skeptical you can raise the issue in your Answer by what is known as an affirmative defense" improper service.  Then that generally triggers a motion made by the other party that you have to oppose with facts and then a hearing to determine if service was proper.  I would not ignore the summons and seek legal counsel on the matter  Good luck.


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