Los Angeles, CA asked in Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice for California

Q: Should Third Amended Complaint and Summons on Third Amended complaint be served by personal service, or served by mail?

If proposed third amended complaint gets filed with court, upon hearing on Motion for leave to file third amended complaint and Motion to Set Aside Dismissal against a defendant;

Should Third Amended Complaint and Summons on Third Amended complaint be served by personal service, or by service by mail?

2 Lawyer Answers
Joel Gary Selik
Joel Gary Selik
  • Medical Malpractice Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Licensed in California

A: If the Other parties in the case have made an appearance, for example, by filing emotion, you can serve by mail or by electronic means.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, when a plaintiff is granted leave to file an amended complaint and the amended complaint adds a new defendant or names a defendant who was previously dismissed from the action, the plaintiff must serve the amended complaint and the associated summons on the defendant in accordance with the rules for serving the original complaint and summons.

According to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP), the preferred method of service is personal service. CCP § 415.10 states:

"A summons may be served by personal delivery of a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the person to be served. Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete at the time of such delivery."

However, if personal service proves difficult or impossible, the plaintiff may seek the court's permission to serve the defendant by substituted service or by publication, as outlined in CCP § 415.20 and § 415.50, respectively.

Service by mail is generally not an acceptable method for serving an amended complaint and summons on a defendant who was previously dismissed or is being added to the action for the first time. Mail service is only permissible in specific situations, such as serving a cross-complaint (CCP § 415.40) or serving a party who has already appeared in the action (CCP § 1013a).

In summary, when serving a third amended complaint and summons on a defendant in California, personal service is the preferred and most appropriate method. Service by mail would likely be insufficient in this situation.

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