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What is considered improper service of a summons in Jackson County, Missouri?

Independence, MO |
Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes

I have been able to avoid two different summons until they both expired. Both plaintiffs have now got an alias summons, and I am sure sooner or later they will use tactics other then usual to serve me. I don't want to have to go to court if I can avoid it. I don't have the money to make a settlement, and would like to avoid a court appearance.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. You can be served by mail, sometimes by publication, and if an alias is issued and you work, a process server will find you. You will not be able to duck service continually. What are you can you going to do, look over your shoulder everyday? Let them serve you. If you can't afford the judgment, ether work something out with the people suing you, there is always bankruptcy. Bottom line, is if you owe it work something out that works for you. If you can't they can garnish you for anywhere from 10% if you are head of household or 25%

  2. On occasion a creditor will go away after multiple failed attempts. Generally, service by mail doesn't count. Since your question did not concern the issue of whether it is moral to run from your creditors, I will simply quote the service statute.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it as a best answer.

    54.13. Personal Service Within the State

    (a) By Whom Made. Service of process within the state, except as otherwise provided by law, shall be made by the sheriff or a person over the age of 18 years who is not a party to the action.

    (b) How and on Whom Made. Personal service within the state shall be made as follows:
    (1) On Individual. Upon an individual, including an infant or incompetent person not having a legally appointed guardian, by delivering a copy of the summons and petition personally to the individual or by leaving a copy of the summons and petition at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of the individual's family over the age of fifteen years, or by delivering a copy of the summons and petition to an agent authorized by appointment or required by law to receive service of process.
    (2) On Conservator. Upon an infant or disabled or incapacitated person who has a legally appointed conservator, by delivering a copy of the summons and petition to the conservator as provided in Rule 54.13(b)(1).
    (3) On Corporation, Partnership or Other Unincorporated Association. Upon a domestic or foreign corporation or upon a partnership or other unincorporated association, when it may be sued as such, by delivering a copy of the summons and petition to an officer, partner, or managing or general agent, or by leaving the copies at any business office of the defendant with the person having charge thereof or by delivering copies to its registered agent or to any other agent authorized by appointment or required by law to receive service of process.
    (4) On Public or Quasi-Public Corporation or Body. Upon a public, municipal, governmental or quasi-public corporation or body, by delivering a copy of the summons and petition to the clerk of the county commission in the case of a county, to the mayor or city clerk or city attorney in the case of a city, to the chief executive officer in the case of any public, municipal, governmental or quasi-public corporation or body or to any person otherwise lawfully so designated. If no person above specified is available for service, the court out of which the process issued may designate an appropriate person to whom copies of the summons and petition may be delivered in order to effect service.

    (c) Acknowledgment of Service. When a defendant shall acknowledge in writing, endorsed on the process, signed by the defendant's own proper signature, the service of such process, and waive the necessity of the service thereof by an officer, such acknowledgment shall be deemed as valid as service in the manner provided by law. Acknowledgment of service by mail may also be made as provided in Rule 54.16.

    (d) Where Process May Be Served in This State. All process issued for service within this state may be served anywhere within the state and may be forwarded to the sheriff of any county for the purpose of service.

    (Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended June 1, 1993, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; June 21, 2002, eff. Jan. 1, 2003.)

    My comments are general in nature, are not legal advice as to your specific issue, and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Disregard this solicitation if you have already engaged a lawyer in connection with the legal matter referred to in this solicitation. You may wish to consult your lawyer or another lawyer instead of me. The exact nature of your legal situation will depend on many facts not known to me at this time. You should understand that the advice and information in this solicitation is general and that your own situation may vary. This statement is required by rule of the Supreme Court of Missouri.

  3. Eventually they will be able to serve you via publication if you continue to be impossible to serve. Then, unless you are continually monitoring the case, they could get a default judgment against you for who knows what. Better to accept service and deal with it.

    The contents of this post do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Any comments made in this post are general in nature and may not apply to the specific facts and law of your case.

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