I receive calls all the time from people who are unable to serve their legal papers. The Sheriff's Department and other process servers were unsuccessful. Everyone knows that you have to serve the papers so that the other party is notified that they are involved in the court action. so some people evade being served by not answering their door.
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Hugo Martin published an article in the Los Angeles Times "Defendants in Disneyland social club lawsuit are evading process servers, lawyer says."
Process Server Story
I was attempting to serve a domestic violence restraining in Sacramento County. The subject worked during the day so I attempted to serve the documents at night (8:30pm). A large uncovered window was next to the front door. The lights were on inside and I could see the subject sitting on a chair watching TV.
I knocked on the front door and the subject got up and walked up to the front door. He looked out the peep hole, turned around and went back to his chair. I knocked on the door a few more times. I was unable to serve the subject that night. I eventually was able to serve the subject waiting outside of the courtroom.