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Can you leave the summons and complaint with a clerk if you are suing an organization?

Los Angeles, CA |

I am suing a government agency and non-profit affliate. The summons was taken and signed for by a clerk in the office who said "she had never done this before". If after 21 days the defendant has not answered, can the complaint be reserved with the sheriff?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. If they accepted service and were an authorized agent to do so on behalf of the corporation, after 30 days you can move the court for a default judgment.

    In regards to suing a government agency, you will need to comply with the government code which has very specific requirements that you need to meet before filing a lawsuit.

    It is best you contact an attorney who sues government entities to navigate the complex procedural rules.

    This is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This is not legal advice, it is only legal information. You should consult an attorney if you have any questions regarding this matter.


  2. I would like a little more information. Specifically, is the non-profit a corporation? If so, you should check the ca. Secretary of State website ( http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/be/ ) which will tell you if it is a corporation and who the "Agent for Service of Process" is.

    As to the government entity, generally speaking you have to file a claim, which has to be rejected, before you can file the lawsuit. Suits against government entity are very technical and you should probably contact an attorney. I hope this helps.

    Good Luck!

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