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Question: Were you ever personally served a summons ? Did the Attorney who is suing you claim to have made "notice" by publishing in a newspaper ?

The following is an example as required in Tennessee. Check your state code and local court rules of civil procedure for similar language ( Service of Process)


"RULE 22


(A) The use of service of process by publication in lieu of personal service upon

defendants who live out of state, or whose whereabouts are not known, is a means of process

intended to give actual notice to defendants, or to persons who, having seen the notice, will

contact the defendants.

The due process requirement that parties be notified of proceedings affecting their

interests is a vital corollary to one of the most fundamental requisites of due process, namely, the

right to be heard.( Baggett vs. Baggett, 541 S.W.2d 407 (Tenn. 1976); Schroeder vs. City of New

York, 371 U.S. 208, 83 S. Ct. 279, 9 L.Ed.2d 255 (1962).

The custom in Knox County of publishing legal notices in a newspaper of limited

circulation, read mainly by lawyers, is not a means reasonably calculated effectively to advise

parties of legal proceedings.

Truly indigent defendants unable to afford publication in a newspaper of wide circulation

have access to publication by posting, Dungan vs. Dungan, 579 S.W.2d 183 (Tenn. 1979), 47

Tenn. L. Rev. 845.

All local notices published by newspaper and made a part of the proceedings shall appear

in a newspaper of general circulation within the area of Knox County and its contiguous

counties. If counsel desire, an abbreviated notice may be placed in the general circulation

newspaper bearing (1) the defendant's name in bold type; (2) the style, docket number, court

name, and nature of the proceeding; and (3) the name and telephone number of plaintiff's

attorney. If this route is chosen, the full legal notice must additionally appear in another Knox

County newspaper. An example of an abbreviated notice is:


A divorce complaint bearing docket number 34567 has been filed against you in Knox

County Fourth Circuit Court. Contact plaintiff's attorney, Rebecca Smith, (865) 584-1234.

(B) In all cases in which service of process is to be effected by publication, whether

local or otherwise, the Court requires affidavits by counsel and the client, setting forth:

(a) all efforts made to locate the defendant;

(B) the success of those efforts;

© that there are no further reasonable efforts to be made;

(d) that after all of the foregoing, publication was done in a newspaper of general

circulation in that county where the defendant--or persons in contact with the

defendant--is/are most likely to be found.

The affidavits should set out, for example, contacts made with past employers of the

defendant in Topeka, with his kin in Michigan, with his former neighbors in Knoxville;

researches made in city directories, phone books, and by Internet; and all other efforts to locate

the defendant and apprise him of his litigation. In short, all efforts must be made--and attested

to--which a person would make as if really intending to locate the defendant.



NOTE: The above is cited only as an example ! It is imperative that you review your state's code and local court rules of civil procedure ! You may find similar language in your review.

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