What constitutes valid service of process regarding a summons?

UPDATED: Mar 26, 2012

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What constitutes valid service of process regarding a summons?

My wife was given a writ of summons credit card default to give to me. It was delivered by the sheriff to an address that I no longer reside at and has never touched my hands. Is this a valid “service”? What options do I have?

Asked on March 26, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Maryland


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under the law, it is presumed that if there is a returned proof of service concerning a summons and complaint filed with the court by the process server stating that it was properly served, that it was. If your wife received the summons that you are writing that was delivered to an address that you no longer reside at, you very well may have been validly subserved with process under the law.

The point is that you now have in hand the summons and complaint concerning a lawsuit against you. The options that you have are to answer the summons and complaint with a filed answer in court, file a motion to quash service stating that you were not timely served (this most likely will be a futile act in the end) or do nothing and risk a possible default judgment against you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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