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What is the legal age of a "competent person"?


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I live in Washington state. Suttell & Hammer served my 11 year old son and the description was of "a competent person, my sons name, approximately 16 years old with a description of him". Can an 11 year old be legally served? This seems absurd to me.

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I live in Washington state. Suttell & Hammer served my 11 year old son and the description was of "a competent person, my sons name, approximately 16 years old with a description of him". Can an 11 year old be legally served? This seems absurd to me.

Sounds more than fishy to me. I have not read all of the requirements for WA so I can't say that I know enough to say your service was not proper, but I've not heard of a state where an 11 yr old can be served on an adult's behalf. Look through your rules of civil procedure and look through any relevant statutes that it cites to find out. The fact that they're saying your son was approximatly 16 years old when he is 11 is a huge red flag, unless he really does look 5 years older than he really is.

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Thanks very much. My boys are big, always have been but there is a HUGE difference between 11 and 16. I am back tracking at this point because my personal accounts were emptied yesterday for a "default Judgment" awarded to Suttell & hammer in 2008. I had no idea a lawsuit had even been started. I went to court today and viewed all documents. I am just looking for a way out of this and the summons being served to my son didn't deem legit.

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Legal definition is Legally qualified or fit to perform an act.

Legally qualified by law means competent. Competent describes a person or thing that is qualified to do something or adequate for a specific purpose.

You need to file a motion to dismiss with prejudice due to the INCOMPETENCY of the process server, by where he/she served an incompetent person with a court summons, and a summons that sis not pertain to them.

Your argument: If a minor under the age of 18 commits a crime that minor person can not be served a summons, the parent or legal guardian has to be served because the minor is assumed incompetent unless proven at trial to be competent. So until proven at trial to be competent. the minor has to be considered incompetent at the time of service of process.

Is an 11 year old competent enough to under stand what a summons is?

is he/she competent enough to understand that if they do not give that summons to their parents, the parents may have a default judgment rendered against them?

Is that child competent enough to even know what a default judgment is?

Process of service: Delivery of a writ, summons, or other legal papers to the person required to respond to them.

Process must be properly served on all parties in an action. Anyone who is not served is not bound by the decision in the case. A person who believes that proper service has not taken place may generally challenge the service without actually making a formal appearance in the case.

I would also file a suit against the process server for emotional distress. Did you not almost have heart attack when you learned that they served your son who is 11? Then that emotional distress must be intentional as a process server should be well aware of how to properly serve.

You need to GET A COPY of the "affidavit of service" from your file in the courthouse. The affidavit of service is a sworn statement by the process server that describes how you were served. The plaintiff will rely on this document to claim you were served correctly. If the process server claims personal service the he/she filed a false affidavit.

The legal definition of personal service means just that, The actual delivery of process to the individual to whom it is directed or to someone authorized to receive it on his or her behalf. And I am sure you did not designate your 11 year old as someone authorized to receive any thing for you.

Anyone who serves process must file an Affidavit of service with the court, giving details of the delivery of the papers. If the facts in an affidavit of service falsely assert that the papers were delivered, the person who swears to them can be prosecuted for the crime of perjury. In addition, the plaintiff's action will not have commenced. If the statute of limitations has expired by the time the true facts of the improper service are disclosed, the action is completely barred and the plaintiff has lost the right to sue.

I hope this helps

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Guest usctrojanalum

In NY a competent person for service is 13 years old - and that is the youngest I have seen it anywhere. I'd say 11 is too young, by any state's calculation.

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I think the "competent person" thing refers to the process server, not the defendant. Rule CR4 covers service, it says virtually nothing about this other than that the summons must be directed at the defendant. I wouldn't pursue this, all they'll do is re-serve you and it makes you look like a bit of a crank to the court. I think you'll have a tough time with the bank levy, four years is a long time not to know you had a judgment against you. You will have to go to the court house and get a copy of the file.

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Civ pro definitions usually defines competent person pretty clearly.

I just had a slimy attorney serve a subpoena to my client by hand and then perjure himself on the service certificate and claim it was served by mail. He did this because he is married to his client, and the defintion of competent person clearly excludes family or employees of the client. I filed an objection to subpeona in state court. This guy can pound sand.

In any case, usually the first provision of your state's civil procedure will tell you what the scope of the procedure and how to refer to it (ex: R.C.P.), then the next provision will have defintions. Go to "competent adult" and see if it gives you an answer.

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Guest usctrojanalum

NY is done by case law. Dumb law makers over here just said a summons can be served on someone via a third party who is of "suitable age and discretion." Well, obviously you can tell how this lead to problems, so the NY Court of Appeals ruled that it is someone who is 13 years of age and lives at the same address of the defendant.

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Thanks very much. My boys are big, always have been but there is a HUGE difference between 11 and 16. I am back tracking at this point because my personal accounts were emptied yesterday for a "default Judgment" awarded to Suttell & hammer in 2008. I had no idea a lawsuit had even been started. I went to court today and viewed all documents. I am just looking for a way out of this and the summons being served to my son didn't deem legit.

What you want to look for is the proof of service of the summons and complaint in the ORIGINAL action that lead to the default. If they served your 11 year old son this time around, who knows how they claimed to have served you before. For example, you might find that they claimed to serve you at a time when you know (and can prove somehow) that you were out of state.

Good luck.

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