Was the defendant served with lawful process of the summons and the complaint

Asked over 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

Defendants was served at their office and the front desk clerk accepted service of the summons and the complaint. Defendants appeared in court without an attorney to reprresent them and was told by the judge to obtain legal representation, 30 days later I entered default against them. Now they are saying the person who accepted the papers was not authorized to accept service on their behalf and are seeking to set aside the Default. Although the defendants appeared in court, can they now claim the service was to someone unauthorized to accept on their behalf?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Michael Raymond Daymude

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . "Although the defendants appeared in court, can they now claim the service was to someone unauthorized to accept on their behalf?" -- Yes. It appears that is just what they have done. Whether the judge will set aside their default depends on facts you have not stated. You need to oppose the defendants' motion with appropriate legal authority and facts if you do not want the defendants to prevail on the motion.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for... more
  2. Jacob Adam Regar

    Contributor Level 16

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You would probably find it helpful to contact a litigation attorney to review your situation. There are numerous facts that should be evaluated to determine the strength of any opposition motion to defendant's motion to set aside a "void" judgment.

    Regarding service of process: some factors that would be considered are whether you are suing an individual or entity defendant. Whether you effected personal or substitute service. You need to explore the law dealing with authorized agents for service of summons.

    Regarding general appearance: A general appearance by a party is equivalent to receiving service of summons. More facts are needed to know whether the defendant's appearance in court amounted to a general appearance and a recognition of the court's personal jurisdiction over the matter.

    No attorney-client relationship is created through the exchange of information on Avvo.com. The information... more
  3. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to provide more facts in order to ascertain whether or not the defendants were properly sub-served. You also need to clarify what you mean by appear in court: just physical presence in court, or by filing an Answer? Did you effectuate the service or a third party? Did the server then mail a copy of the summons and complaint to the same address that the sub-service was made? If not, then the defendants can rightfully assert that they were not properly served.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

28,776 answers this week

3,076 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

28,776 answers this week

3,076 attorneys answering