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A defendants’ mere “refusal” to accept personal service DOES constitute valid service (Hankla v. Governing Board (1975) 46 Cal. App. 3d 644, 655.) However, apparently, a defendant’s refusal to accept service of summons by certified mail DOES NOT constitute valid service. Similarly, if a defendant’s failure to return a notice of acknowledgment of receipt DOES NOT constitute valid service. However, the Hankla case above states that if a defendant “wilfully disregards a notice of certified mail” it can be reasonably inferred that they knew the nature of the mailing, and in Bear Creek Master Ass’n v. Edwards (2005) 31 Cal.Rptr.3d 337, 351 [130 Cal.App.4th 1470 ] it states that “The requirement to send the lien notices by certified mail cannot be defeated by the simple expedient of refusing to sign the return receipt.” This is confusing. The case law seems to contradict the statutory requirements.So is certified mail not the same as return receipt requested? From what I can tell from the USPS oline info is that a return receipt does not require that the recipient sign anything. So does that mean an out of state defendant can be served with summons and complaint under CCP 415.40 through mere proof of delivery to a valid mailing address simply using a return receipt? I'm pretty sure that return receipt requested and certified mail BOTH require that the recipient sign. So that makes it hard to serve defendants who want to evade service.