US Marshalls can't get def. to accept summons but 8 mos. ago I sent the complaint to def.’s lawyer via cert. mail.

You can follow answers to this question by subscribing by e-mail.

Answer this Question

Mark Scoblionko

Answered 2 years ago

This is more of a statement than a question. I am assuming that the question is whether your sending the Complaint to the lawyer by certified mail is valid service. The quick answer is "No, but..."

Since you are referencing U.S. Marshalls, it sounds like you have filed suit in Federal Court. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow for a Complaint to be mailed to a defendant with an offer to accept service. Thus, if the lawyer has been authorized by his client to accept service, he will do so, and you go on from there. If the defendant declines to accept service or to authorize his lawyer to do so, the defendant can be assessed some costs. However, under those circumstances, you need to make personal service. The easiest, but possibly most expensive, way to do that is to have the Marshalls make service. Whether or not the defendant "accepts" service is irrelevant. If the papers are handed to him/her, that is valid personal service. However, you can also have service made by the county Sheriff or, if you can find one, a state constable, so long as the rules for proper return of service are complied with. Presumably, your lawyer knows this and will get it done.