As we all know, a plaintiff’s attorney, or a self-represented plaintiff, must prepare a summons to notify a defendant of a pending lawsuit officially and legally. He or she will then have a deadline by which she or he must file an answer with the court. The period in which to do this starts at the very second that the defendant is personally served by the process server.
For this reason, many potential defendants try to dodge service of process by not answering the door, running away, or even hiding out. However, the most common evasion tactic we see is blatant lying.
While lying to a process server is not particularly criminal, it certainly isn’t going to do you any favors in the long run.
If you lie to us, it is true that it is not considered a crime and you cannot be charged with anything for doing so. However, escaping service of process is a futile act, and you will just end up making the process more difficult for all parties involved. Eventually, you will be found, and can you imagine how embarrassing it will be to have to face up to the whoppers you were telling? It is much easier and less chaotic to just accept the reality of being sued.
You Can Run, but You Can’t Hide
Even if you do lie to the process server about your identity, or someone lies on your behalf, such as by saying that you do not live at the residence, or that they do not know you, you will not be able to avoid service indefinitely. After all, the plaintiff, or his or her attorney, has additional options when comes to making valid service.
These options are written into the laws of the state, which govern service of process. Many require nothing more than an effort of good faith when comes to the personal service of a difficult-to-find or evasive defendant. That means that if we are unable to carry out personal service, which we must diligently attempt first, there are other ways for us to serve someone.
A defendant, for example, may be served by publication, which means the summons will be printed in the most popular newspaper in the area where the defendant was last known to live. The date that the summons is published is considered the date of service. The notice may also be posted at the courthouse.
In some states, papers can even be mailed via certified mail to a defendant’s last known address. Certified mail provides the process server with a definite delivery date and time to place on his or her affidavit of service. Unfortunately, however, Louisiana, does not permit this avenue.
If you want to hire thorough process servers in Louisiana that do their research, are expert skip tracers, and can read through lies to locate almost any defendant, look no further. At Lafayette Process Servers, you can be sure that Scott Frank and his team will do whatever they can, within legal limits, to serve your paperwork accurately and efficiently. Give us a call and learn how we can help you today.
Donna Lee Hellmann is a New Orleans-area copywriter. The foregoing article has simply been presented for informational purposes only. She, and those at Lafayette Process Servers, are not attorneys. If you seek further information about this topic, contact an attorney in your local area.