Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for Georgia

Q: Is it illegal to serve process on a 15 year old?

1 Lawyer Answer

A: Although it is not a crime to serve process on a minor, doing so likely goes against the procedures outlined in the Georgia's Civil Practice Act. Depending on the set of circumstances involved in the case will determine what procedure needs to be followed. If the lawsuit is against a minor, then it is proper to serve the minor in addition to serving their parents, legal guardian, or guardian ad litem. Failure to do so can result in the case being dismissed. However, if the lawsuit is against a non-minor then personal service is proper by serving that individual personally "or by leaving copies thereof at the defendant's dwelling, house, or usual place of abode of with some person of suitable age and discretion" residing there. O.C.G.A. § 9-11-4(e)(7). Georgia courts have ruled a suitable age to include those who are at least 15 years of age. Therefore, service is proper on a 15 year old for a lawsuit against a non-minor defendant, so long as they reside at the same place.

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