I tried serving a summons and complaint on a public entity by mail and attached two copoes of notice of acknowledgement and receipt as required. The entity sent back the summons and complaint and claimed that they are somehow not authorized to receive the documents by mail, and they claim that ccp 416.50 somehow "requires" me to serve them by personal service. However, all ccp 416.50 says is: "A summons may be served on a public entity by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the clerk, secretary, president, presiding officer, or other head of its governing body." NOthing says I am required to personally serve them. From my understanding, service by notice and acknowledgment of receipt is an acknowledged method of service. Can I just tell the court that they are refusing service?
Don't try to handle service of process on your own. The rules are complicated, they are not always enforced exactly as they are written, and the average lawyer does not understand them. Find an experienced lawyer, board-certified in civil trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, who is familiar with the law and the courts in your area. You can find a list at nbta.org If you find any of the same lawyers on Avvo's Find A Lawyer tab, then contact them.
There aren't a lot of teeth to the notice and acknowledgment of receipt process. If they fail to respond you are entitled to the costs for serving them in another fashion. Those are recoverable costs anyway.
So your better approach will be to hire a process server to serve the papers on the public entity by serving the appropriate clerk, etc.
And you should see about getting a lawyer to represent you.
If you find this answer helpful, please say so. This is a general response to a general question posted openly on-line. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or any obligation on the part of the attorney to take any action or respond further. There are often deadlines, time limits and procedures which must be followed to enforce legal rights or handle a case. The failure to take appropriate action as provided by law may lead to the loss of rights. If you would like to hire Mr. Bradley you will need to arrange a consultation and enter into a written fee agreement with him.
The entity is right. You can't read one section of the Code independently from the others that apply. "Served" means personal service unless it specifically states otherwise. Service by Notice and Acknowledgment is reliable only if you have obtained prior consent to that form of service, and then it can fail depending upon how reliable mail delivery is. Take my colleagues' advice and hire a process server.
I am not your attorney. Avvo and its users acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship is established by using avvo.com. Nothing published in this website constitutes actual legal advice. You should consult with an attorney of your choice who has experience in your inquired field of law. If you are in California and have questions about estate planning, I'd be happy to receive your call.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline