Seattle, WA asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Washington

Q: If someone serves papers to your grandma that are for you, have you been served?

You’re in a custody battle and a person serves your grandma your custody paperwork but you’re not there, does that still count as being served?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Washington State, the rules for serving legal papers can vary depending on the specifics of the case and the type of documents being served. Generally, for service to be considered valid, it must be made directly to the person named in the documents or to someone who is legally authorized to receive them on their behalf. This often includes adults residing at the same address.

If the custody papers were served to your grandmother at her residence, and you do not live there, this might not constitute valid service. However, if you do reside with your grandmother, her receiving the papers could potentially be considered valid service, especially if she is an adult living in the same household.

To confirm whether you have been properly served, it is advisable to consult with an attorney. They can provide specific advice based on the details of your situation, including the type of custody papers and your living arrangements.

It's important to address this promptly, as failing to respond to custody papers, if they were served correctly, can lead to a default judgment in your absence. An attorney can help ensure that you understand your legal obligations and rights in this matter.

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