We have evidentiary hearing coming up. I need to serve dad. His last address update on file is a PO Box. Can I serve documents to a PO BOX or does it have to be an actual address?
What about the documents I served Dad that came back to me due to the fact he moved? I sent certified. How do I get papers to dad? Do i keep original sealed envelope and send new docs to be forwarded to his PO Box? OR do i simply send to his PO Box?
You may need promptly to ask the court to extend time for service or reschedule the impending hearing.
If personal service is required (e.g., for a Summons & Complaint), you cannot use his PO Box.
Otherwise, beginning with his Box number, you can indirectly serve him in a three-part process. This is true because, at the time he obtained his PO Box, the box-holder by federal law must give the post office his true physical address.
First, a process server, an attorney -- or you, if you're representing yourself -- may obtain the form from the post office. Second, you need to provide the USPS the completed form to obtain the actual physical address. You then can have the documents served on him at that address. The general rule is you must try 3 times properly to serve him before seeking alternative service approval from the court.
Third, if the person to be served does not reside at the physical address he gave the USPS, ask the post office to "lock down" his box. It might behoove you to enlist an attorney's service to do this for you. It's not arduous but having a process server handle it can assure everything is done correctly and give you peace of mind.
If you served your Dad the returned/unclaimed documents at his then-last known address, but he had already notified the court of his address change, you will need to serve those documents again. I would take pictures (with time/date stamps) of the returned package(s). If necessary later, you can include the photos in explaining to the court why you could not serve them on the first 3+ attempts and need additional time. Good luck.
The U.S. Post Office will not accept service of process for any box holder. However, if it is a private mail box at a business location, then you can serve the person at that location. If your father moved, you may need to hire an investigator to locate him. Get a process server to handle the service for you.
If you are serving Dad by certified mail this is fine IF he will pick it up. Otherwise, you need an address. If he is not trying to avoid service, but just moving, he can come in and pick up the papers and sign a waiver. Also, if he has already been served the original papers, with a summons and then an appearance in Court, then this is a non-issue, because they just require mailing and not service.
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