What happens if I’m not properly served regarding a small claims case?

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What happens if I’m not properly served regarding a small claims case?

My former roommate is trying to sue me in small claims court for some ridiculous accusations. Because he didn’t have my forwarding address, he sent the summons to my former employer via certified mail. The letter was signed by a front desk employee and never got to me. I’ve been told that if the certified mail receipt is not signed by the defendant then the case would be thrown out. Is this true?

Asked on August 30, 2011 Hawaii

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the summons and complaint is not served upon a defendant in a small claims action by the time of the trial date, most judgment will continue the trial several months down the road and issue a new hearing date for trial so that the summons and complaint can be personally served or sub-served upon the defendant so that the plaintiff can his or her day in court.

In your situation, if you have not been served with the summons and complaint for the small claims court action yet and if trial is soon coming, the court in the end most likely upon the plaintiff's request will continue the trial date. I doubt that the case will be dismissed at this time.

Until you are shown to have been properly served as a defendant with notice of the summons, complaint and trial date, your former roommate's small claims action cannot move forward.

Good luck.

 


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