I received a letter in the mail from the court saying a Unlawful Detainer has been filed against me by my landlord? The letter is 3 weeks old, but I just received it. There may be a judgement against me and I did not know about it. Doesn't my landlord have to do personal service in order to get a judgement?
The landlord may have the unlawful detainer summons and complaint served on you. The landlord may not do the service himself, as he or she is a party to the lawsuit. There are also other methods of service that are authorized, which can include substituted service on someone else who lives with you. In some cases, the landlord is permitted to obtain a court order to permit service of the papers by posting and mailing.
My best advice for you is to take a photo ID and go to the court and get copies of the documents. If the landlord has filed a "proof of service," that document will show how the landlord claims you were served.
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If you were not at home for a period of time, the landlord may use the nail and Mail method of service. You should go to the court and review the file.
The answers on this discussion board are general in nature and NOT intended as legal advice. Responding to questions does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Always see a lawyer about your individual situation.
A landlord can serve the summons and complaint by substitute service or by "nail and mail." The letter is from the Court, but that would not be service of the Complaint. Your landlord could also be trying to serve you still. You should immediately go to the Courthouse where the unlawful detainer was filed and review the file to see if a proof of service has been filed. You may still be able to file a response; however, you have a short timeline to do this, so you should do it today.
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