A Citation from the Surrogate;s Court is similar to a subpoena in any court. If you were served with one, this is because you have rights to object to the relief sought by the Petitioner (what the Surrogate's Court calls a plaintiff).
Do I Have to Appear In Court?
No, you do not have to appear. There are several ways you can handle this: (1) you can hire a lawyer and the lawyer will appear on your behalf; (2) you can ignore the citation and allow the relief to be granted; (3) you can go to court and ask for an adjournment (more time) to decide how you will proceed; (4) you can call the petitioner or attorney for the petitioner and advise that you will consent to the relief; (5) you can appear and ask for a conference. There are moreoptions, but these are the main ones.
Why Did I get Served in Person and my sibling got a certified mail?
The manner of service depends upon where you are domiciled in relationship to where the decedent is domiciled. If you are domiciled in the same state, you will be personally served. If not, you will be served by return receipt requested.
Additional resources provided by the author
If the petitioner is unable to serve the individual after three attempts, then the petitioner can file for a request for substituted service. In the court's discretion, it can determine the manner of service.
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