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Service by Substitution not timely ?

Davis, CA |

32 days before court my ex had a processor serve "me" by substitution. Production of Documents request (she wants bank records).

Papers were left with my current wife and my known place of residence-- however, I read in rules of civil procedure 415.20 that 10 days need to be tacked on for service by substitution. Also, that an additional mailing of the documents and a "due diligence" needs to take place. Nothing has been mailed to me and we are 1 week from court.

1) With an additional 10 days is the service "untimely"?
2) Without the mailing is the service even valid?

Thank you.

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Attorney answers 2


If the plaintiff is attempting to serve you by substituted service (meaning the complaint was left with someone other than you), but there has been no follow up mailing, then you have not been served. However, there is a legal answer to every question and a practical one. The practical answer is that you have not received anything in the mail, but you don't know that the plaintiff won't contend that you were


Section 415.20 applies only to service of the summons and service of other documents before you respond . Because you are being served with a request for production, you probably were already served with a summons.

If you have already responded to the summons, delivering the request to your home and leaving them with your new wife is valid substitute service. No mailing is necessary. Had your ex mailed the documents instead of personally delivered them, you would have had five extra days in which to respond.

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