What does the term “to serve by substituted service” mean when pertaining to notifying someone about court proceedings?

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What does the term “to serve by substituted service” mean when pertaining to notifying someone about court proceedings?

The proceedings pertain to them but their address is unknown.

Asked on March 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Substituted service is service of process upon a defendant in any manner authorized by statute other than personal service within the jurisdiction.  This means service by publication, by mailing a copy to a last known address or by personal service in another state.

Service by publication is when the defendant's whereabouts are unknown.  Service by publication is running a notice of the lawsuit in the legal notices section of a newspaper for a certain amount of time.  The amount of time the notice has to run in the newspaper for effective service by publication varies from state to state.  Your court clerk can tell you how long the notice has to run in the newspaper for it to be effective service by publication.  Service by publication is effective even if the defendant doesn't see the notice in the newspaper.


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