Can Complaint & Summons papers be served at an individual's workplace in c/o receptionist if individual is not in the office?

Asked over 1 year ago - Seattle, WA

The individual doesn't have a consistent schedule & I can't afford to pay to have a service sit & wait for the individual to show up at home/work to be served. It also seems costly to have a server return multiple times to try to serve. The individual has no idea the court papers are coming, they simply have an inconsistent schedule so it's difficult to instruct a server of a good time to serve so I'm looking for some useful, cost effective suggestions which is why I thought perhaps it might be acceptable to leave the papers w/the receptionist at the person's place of business if for example Sheriff served. Also I filed my Complaint/Summons Pro Se w/o my address on these documents; am I required to put my address on the documents for the defendant or is it their responsibility to find me

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Erin Bradley McAleer

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Serving an individual you're suing by serving the receptionist at his place of business would not be effective. See RCW 4.28.080. You need to serve the defendant personally, or leave a copy of the summons and complaint with a person of suitable age and discretion at his personal residence - assuming you know where that is. Otherwise, you need to attempt to have him served several times at various times during various days, and if unsuccessful, you can ask the court to allow you to serve him by publication (i.e. publishing the summons in a newspaper). However, that can run you several hundred dollars. Finally, your summons and complaint need to provide the Defendant a place to serve you his Notice of Appearance of Answer. If you fail to do this and take a default judgment, it would be subject to a very quick and routine vacation. It sounds like you either need to file your lawsuit in small claims court, or wait until you have the funds to hire an attorney and proceed appropriately.

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