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Process Serving as Defendant in California

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Hello all,

I tried to find the answer to this in the forums and in my local rules, but I was unsuccessful. I am the defendant in an OC suit brought by Nelson and Kennard, Sacramento. I have a two part question: 

I received the complaint, and answered it, noting that they had a few instances where they checked multiple boxes instead of one, got a couple facts wrong, and I put in one or two affirmative defenses. My purpose is to delay until I can settle, but not cost so much that the settlement will be impractical. I need a sweet spot. I have some more collections coming at me I'm sure, but my income will increase in the next couple years and I already make too much for Chapter 7 unless I can argue grad school student loans are non-consumer debt.. but I have heard that's really expensive and CA caselaw isn't binding and other reasons from attorneys, so then it's like either chapter 13 or settle my way through the storm, and if I can settle that's got to be better than 5 years of .. well of eating like I did in grad school. Anyway, I'm not out to win this, just to get a trial that's months away so I have money to settle with, and then I can stall the next lawsuit and settle again, and so on.

SO. Question 1: in answering the complaint, I read that I could efile and then serve the plaintiff. But the day after I efiled it, suddenly the court called and gave me 36 hours to serve it, so I ended up spending like 300 dollars on a next-day process server. That hurt. Will I need to serve the plaintiff every time I file anything, like this case management form and such? I don't see an answer to this in local rules or superior court rules. 

Question 2: I read somewhere that was not unique to CA, that process service by the defendant could be done via registered or certified mail or something- but it couldn't be mailed by the defendant. If I'm a very private person and don't want a friend to know anything about this, is there like a Fedex-Kinkos service or something that would just be the adult that does that? OR how do people normally do their defendant process serving duties? It seems impractically expensive to do so. 

Thank you for any insight you might have on 1 and 2. 

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