Mableton, GA asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Civil Litigation for Georgia

Q: How to serve a defendant if defendant refuses to provide address

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: If you're trying to serve a defendant who refuses to provide their address, you may need to employ alternative methods of service as allowed by Georgia law. First, consider hiring a professional process server, as they have experience and resources to locate individuals for service of legal documents.

If this does not yield results, you can ask the court for permission to use "service by publication." This method involves publishing the notice of the lawsuit in a newspaper that's likely to be seen by the defendant. The specific requirements for service by publication, including the duration and frequency of the publication, will be determined by the court and must comply with Georgia's legal standards.

It's important to demonstrate to the court that you've made diligent efforts to locate the defendant and serve them personally before resorting to service by publication. Document all your attempts to find and serve the defendant, as this evidence will be crucial in obtaining permission for service by publication. If you're uncertain about the process or how to proceed, consider consulting with an attorney who can guide you through the legal requirements and help ensure that your actions are in compliance with the law.

Alake Colwell Furlow
Alake Colwell Furlow
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Dacula, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: It's not up to a defendant to make it easy for the plaintiff to serve them. If they won't provide a home address then you may have to use other resources to locate that address such as a background check, private investigator, skip trace, etc. You could also try and determine their place of employment, because it's possible they can be served at work. But it's the plaintiff's job to locate the defendant for service and get them served. Defendant does not have to provide you with the information to do so.

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