My husband and I have been separated since 2009. I finally filed for Divorce and I have been trying to serve him papers without success. I used a Private Process Server who has returned a NO-SERVE. I have now received a Notice of Conference from the Court. What does that mean and what should I do? I plan on going for the conference but what should I bring with me?
They will like to see what you have been doing to try and get the case forward. I would recommend you file a Motion for Alternative service having the process server sign an affidavit of all the efforts he or she has made to try and serve the defendant and request that a different type of service be made available. Otherwise you will be stuck in the limbo you find yourself in now. If you do not file this Motion before hand they will likely recommend that you file such a motion.
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I would call the Court to ask the clerk for the reason for the conference given that your ex has not been served. I would also call the private process server to see what he says as to why he hasn't served your ex. Maybe he can do an Affidavit indicating your ex is avoiding service, maybe not.
A Motion For Alternative Service allows you to serve the legal papers without actually having them delivered to the defendant personally. After you have tried everything to find the defendant, the Court can allow you to post the papers on the Court bulletin board, and after a certain period of time, the Court orders that the service of process has been effectuated. Or the Court might order you to advertise the legal case in a local newspaper. Then you can proceed with the rest of your case. Talk with an experienced attorney for further details.
This is NOT legal advice, is GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY, and does NOT establish an Attorney/Client Relationship with you. Therefore my answer cannot address your specific legal situation and you should not rely upon my answer in your legal matter. I am an attorney licensed in Maryland and California.
Its a new thing PG is doing to try to move cases along faster, they schedule these things before any service has been shown or any responses filed. It is going to be more or less a waste of time unless he happens to show. You don't need to bring anything but you obviously need to figure out how to proceed now (by posting or publication). This conference will not prevent you from proceeding, its juts the court's way of pushing things along and seeing what the status is
The court probably wants to speak with you to get an update on whether or not you have served your spouse. I don't know why the private process server was unable to serve your spouse but it shouldn't be too difficult to find him.
If you have tried all reasonable method to serve him then you can ask the court to allow you to serve him by what is called alternate service. This is complicated and you would be wise to consult an attorney.
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