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What to Do When a Party Can’t Be Found

Are you trying to file a civil case and can’t find the other party to the case? You absolutely must serve all parties to your civil lawsuit or legal action before your case can move forward in front of the courts. Without this proof of service, you won’t be able to get any type of remedy from the court. They have to be given a chance to tell their side of the story.

But sometimes you can’t find the person who needs to be served. If their last known address isn’t good, you’re going to have to work with someone who can track them down. Here’s what you need to know.

Why you have to make good faith attempts

Your private process server has to make several attempts to serve the legal papers before they give up. Part of making those good faith attempts also requires you to try to find the person if there is difficulty. Finding missing persons can be done by the right private process server, or they might work with a private investigator. All avenues for personal service must be exhausted before the server gives up.

When nothing more can be done

If you and your process server have made every attempt to locate the individual to be served, the process server can file a document with the court stating that service could not reasonably be completed. The court will take this information and either dismiss your case, or allow for alternative means of service, such as certified mail or by newspaper publication.

We will take all available measures and do all we can to find the parties to your case. If we are unable to find them, no one can. We will help you navigate the legal system, so you know what to do and say when you go before the judge to ask for alternative service.

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