Philadelphia, PA asked in Contracts for Pennsylvania

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

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
  • Allentown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: 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.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.