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Evading service

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What happens if you just don't answer the door in a State where personal service is required?  (I'm in TN.)


What if they use alias service and the Sheriff tries to serve it and you still don't open the door?


I saw one case on the county courts website where the county Sheriff noted that the defendant was evading service, but then there wasn't anything more.


What could happen to that case when the Sheriff basically testifies that you are evading service?


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Personal service is not required in TN.

Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 4.04

(10) Service by mail of a summons and complaint upon a defendant may be made by the plaintiff, the plaintiff's attorney or by any person authorized by statute.  After the complaint is filed, the clerk shall, upon request, furnish the original summons, a certified copy thereof and a copy of the filed complaint to the plaintiff, the plaintiff's attorney or other authorized person for service by mail. Such person shall send, postage prepaid, a certified copy of the summons and a copy of the complaint by registered return receipt or certified return receipt mail to the defendant.

(11) When service of a summons, process, or notice is provided for or permitted by registered or certified mail under the laws of Tennessee and the addressee or the addressee’s agent refuses to accept delivery and it is so stated in the return receipt of the United States Postal Service, the written return receipt if returned and filed in the action shall be deemed an actual and valid service of the summons, process, or notice. Service by mail is complete upon mailing.

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In many states, the plaintiff can ask the court to do alternate service. One method is by mailing to the last known address. Other methods include posting on the door at the last known address or publishing a notice in the newspaper local to the last known address that is on record for legal notices for a period of time. Some process servers are known to use tricks to get a defendant to a place where they can be served if they defendant is known to evade service.

In most states, the plaintiff is not without recourse if the defendant evades service.

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I'm not really going to, I was just curious.


I research JDB's and OC's who may sue me eventually on my county's court website, and a lot of the times, if the suit is never served because the Defendant is "not to be found,"  either the attorney dismisses the case without prejudice, or it just sits in limbo.


I have a three like that from where they tried to serve me at my old address in a different county.

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17 hours ago, WhoCares1000 said:

Which brings up another question, why bother to evade service anyways. The point of service is to notify you that you are being sued which would be a nice thing to know so that you can defend yourself. Evading service is a really stupid act.

Exactly.  Get it over and done with so you can move on with your life.

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