Cedaredge, CO asked in Business Law and Civil Litigation for Colorado

Q: In Colorado, can personal civil documents intended for an individual be served to the registered agent of their LLC?

For example, if attempts to serve someone a civil lawsuit at their home address have been unsuccessful, could that person be served via the registered agent for an LLC they own, even if the LLC is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit? Specifically, if they're using a registered agent service that is not located at their business address (eg- a registered agent service, law firm, etc.)

3 Lawyer Answers
Kevin Michael Strait
Kevin Michael Strait
Answered
  • Fort Collins, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: The LLC structure is a legally distinct entity in Colorado law. While some code sections and some tax regulations will refer to both businesses and regular people equally as a "person" the significance of the LLC is to create a legal distinction between the business and its owners.

While I can't give advice on your specific situation, Colorado does not recognize service of process upon an LLC as equivalent to service of process upon a natural person. Further, Colorado does not require any kind of public disclosure of the ownership of an LLC, a roster of founders, or any publicly-recorded percentages of ownership. The LLC might be owned by several natural persons, or might not be owned by your target natural person at all, and the public records would not reveal this fact.

Colorado offers a variety of methods to serve process on a natural person that has eluded personal service at their home address. Contact an experienced litigation attorney in your home town to explore the methods of completing the service of process requirements.

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga PRO label
Answered
  • Parker, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: I would recommend reviewing the rules of civil procedure as they pertain to personal service. There are quite a few ways to obtain personal service. If you are unsure, you should contact an attorney. If you cannot afford one, another option may be to hire a good process server that is familiar with the rules and can do the legwork for you.

Please be aware that any answer is based on all the events occurring in Colorado. Further, please be aware that this is not legal advice. This is generic information intended to help the reader develop questions to ask an attorney when they are ready. Each case is different. Anyone reading this answer in need of legal advice should contact an attorney.

Nelson Patrick Boyle
Nelson Patrick Boyle
Answered
  • Englewood, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: Service of process is a difficult concept when it is not straightforward service on the person being served. Both the other answers to this question are correct. These are very fact-specific questions. I agree that you could look to the rules of civil procedure for “self-help.” Remember, there’s an old saying that the attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client. And if you’re not an attorney, it invites misreading of rules and cases applying those rules.

If you have insurance that MAY cover the claims, such as auto, business, or homeowners insurance, you should consider notifying your insurance company of the claim. They will determine if they believe the claim is covered under the policy. They may also employ in-house or outside counsel to assist you in determining if service was proper. If you don’t have insurance or if your claim is denied, you may want to hire a lawyer. Since this is a fact-specific question that requires close scrutiny, paying a lawyer for advice should ensure that you receive good advice. Or, in the least, paying for a lawyer’s advice means that if it’s bad advice, you may be able to pursue a claim against the lawyer who gave you that bad advice.

Finally: Your question involves a legal question that turns on very specific facts. Thus this response is intended only as general information and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Good luck.

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