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How long can I avoid service by certified mail?

Grove City, OH |

I have a slip at my home saying there is a certified letter for me to pick up at the post office from our municipal court and I'm 100% sure it is a suit that has been opened by a creditor on a defaulted account.

I don't want them to get a default judgement and plan to answer the complaint, but how long can I hold off on going to get it before the court grants them service by publication or gives up completely? I'd like to delay getting served a couple weeks if I can in order to try to get some money together to negotiate out of court.

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Filed under: Summons and complaint
Attorney answers 1


Technically, you can avoid certified mail forever, meaning that no one is going to force you to sign for it. But, you cannot avoid the creditor or the Court forever. If you fail or refuse to pick up the certified letter, the civil rules allow the creditor to send you the Summons and Complaint by regular mail to your house. Presuming the creditor serves you correctly, it's effective when it hits your mailbox and you need not sign anything. You should not presume that the creditor will simply give up because you didn't pick up the certified mail letter.

If you are indeed a named defendant in a lawsuit, I suggest you contact an attorney.

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