Place a Publication of Summons, How to serve by newspaper 

Before you can place a Publication of Summons It is necessary to try and do everything possible to locate a defendant before publishing a summons and keep track of every way you have tried to contact them by making a list and filling out a declaration supporting publication where you will list all of your attempts and ways that you tried to find the Defendant. This is to prove to the court that you have done everything possible and exhausted your attempts to serve the Defendant otherwise, your case will be delayed and may be dismissed!

Once you have tried to contact them by all other methods possible, the court will accept the service by publication. 

Often services by publication must be published once a week for several weeks in a row in the county of the Defendant’s last known address. The length of time a summons must run can vary from anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks in a row. It is important to ensure you are using the Newspaper of General circulation in the area where the defendant is likely to be. It is also necessary to obtain an official affidavit of publication that includes the date the summons was published. It is important that you make a copy for your own records and file the original with the clerk’s office along with a copy of the newspaper clipping of how the ad ran in the paper. Once 60 days have passed following the date of publication with no response from the other party, you can generally finalize your case by default 

What steps must be taken before you can place a publication of summons in the newspaper

to confirm that the Defendant is no longer residing at any of their last known addresses? 

Mail copies of documents to be served to all the last known addresses, even if it is your own address. This is because defendants may have completed a mail forwarding order with the Post Ofiice. Once the documents have come back undeliverable t the envelope becomes proof that you have completed these efforts to contact them. 

Talk to respondents, family, friends and employers, both current and former, as well as co-workers as well as any known associates. 

Additional effort was searching directories and telephone books as well as obituary notices in print and online. 

Searching on social media sites like Facebook, Tik Tok, Instagram, and the like. 

Checking with the Department of Corrections and verifying that they are not in the county jails and state prisons 

Hire a private detective. 

What happens after I place a Publication of Summons in the Newspaper ?

Even though the ad will run for several weeks the first date of publication is considered as the date the Defendant was served with court papers. The first day after the first day of publication denotes the days that the Defendant has to answer the summons. Service is completed 30 days after the first publication.

How long do they have to respond? 

The number of days the Defendant has to respond to the summons depends on whether or not the publication is in-state or out-of-state. 

 If a publication is in-state, the Defendant has 20 days after the completion of service to file a response to the complaint. If the publication is out of state, the Defendant has 30 days after its completion of service to file a response. 

What happens if there is no response? If there is no response by the Defendant within the designated amount of time, then that means they have defaulted. And an application of default must be submitted. After this point, the Defendant has an additional 10 court business days to file a response to a complaint after the application for default is filed. In many cases, the application for default can be filed online. 

For more information on how to place a publication of summons or another type of Legal notice contact us

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