In a divorce case, personal service of the summons is required (FedEx or certified mail service is thus not acceptable). That said, it also depends on what the attorney is trying to serve you with - papers served after the summons has already been served on you may be served via either regular mail or overnight delivery. For a full assessment, schedule a consultation with a NYC Divorce attorney.
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Personal service is always ideal, but certified mail is also acceptable. If you are served via certified mail you will have more time to answer. You really should consider getting an attorney though sir.
No, you cannot insist on personal service. Consider your options for solving the delivery problem. Can you provide a fax number or provide an alternative address where you will not have the fed-ex delivery problem? You need to figure out a reliable way to be reached by mail/delivery. You will need to keep both the opposing counsel and the court fully informed of how to reach you at all times.
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Service of process is generally required for the initiatory papers and little else. After you appeared, pro se or otherwise, you will get papers as provided in the CPLR, which can include electronically, if the case is e-filed, or by overnight delivery or regular mail. This is just the way it works. As for the reply papers, yes, that is fair, because you do not get to respond to reply papers, just to read them.
You may be served in any manner allowed under the CPLR which governs methods of service, and it need not be "in hand." You cannot insist on a method of service, but can challenge service as being defective if that is the case. Your reply papers as served sound OK, since a reply is typically due for service one day before the appearance.
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This is an issue for you to resolve, no one else. Give an address where you can get service reliably and promptly. If this is not viable - say, if you don't want to receive legal papers at work or you are out of the office most of the time - then you may consider giving a phone and fax number. You do not need a phone line and fax machine for this; you can get a fax number with an email service, so that when a fax is sent to you, you immediately get it by email to your ipad or electronic device.
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There are many ways to get served with papers. Each jurisdiction has specific rules. Judges don't like to decide cases based on technicalities such as that. They get elected or appointed to "do justice" and they like to think they are doing that. If you received suit papers then it normally is a good idea to come up with a better defense than the fact that you weren't "properly served." Please consult with competent counsel if you require a more specific answer.
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