Seattle, WA asked in Civil Litigation for Washington

Q: How to you respond to a summons when there is no case number on it and it was not even served correctly?

I was served papers at an address that I have not lived at for 4 years and I just by chance was given them by the current tenant. There is no case number on the papers and the debt has already been paid. How do I respond to these papers with no case number?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Steve Dashiak
Steve Dashiak
  • Tukwila, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: This is a great question.

In short: you should reach out to the attorney whose address is noted in the paperwork, and send them proof the debt is paid. If it is, that will be the end of it. If the debt isn't actually paid, you should draft and file an answer to the complaint. There are numerous resources that can help you do that.

While service was bad, you still have constructive notice, and they might try to get a judgment off of the service of current tenant. Dodging service is not the answer here. Play the winning hand with cards face up.

In Washington, you can serve a summons and complaint before filing. The procedures regarding that will be on the summons.

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