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How Can I Serve Someone if I Don’t Know Where They Live

If you’ve filed a lawsuit against an individual but don’t know their current address, you may feel uncertain about how to proceed. Not knowing the home address of the recipient of process can complicate delivering the necessary paperwork for their court appearance. However, with the right steps, you can find the person and serve them. In this post, we’ll explain what you need to do if you need to serve someone in Texas but don’t know their address.

Hire a Process Server

The first step in serving process to someone with an unknown location is to hire a process server who operates in the geographic area where you believe the recipient might be. For example, if you need to serve someone and their last known location was Dallas, hire a reputable process server who works in Dallas County. A server familiar with the local area can provide an advantage in locating a hard-to-find person. Process servers have several methods at their disposal to help find the person, including general search skills, skip tracing, and diligent search.

General Search

Process servers are experts at finding people. From searching public records to scouring social media, they know all the tricks to track down even the most evasive individuals.

Skip Trace

If general search skills don’t yield a good location for the process recipient, the process server will likely move on to skip tracing. Skip tracing involves a more thorough and detailed search of the recipient’s history and information, often uncovering clues that other, less involved search efforts miss.

Diligent Search

Finally, a process server may perform a diligent search, an exhaustive effort to find the recipient. Even if the recipient is not located, the process server’s diligent search will satisfy the court’s requirements to request alternative service.

Alternative Service

Process servers can request alternative service if they have made sufficient efforts to locate a recipient but have failed. What is considered sufficient can vary from state to state, but it generally involves making several attempts to locate and serve the person at multiple locations or through various communication methods. Once the court determines that sufficient efforts have been made, the process server may be allowed to serve via alternative service. The most common forms of alternative service are service by substitution and service by publication.

Service by Substitution

If service by substitution is allowed, the process server can leave the paperwork with a qualifying individual likely to pass it on to the intended recipient. This could be a spouse, adult child, other relative, roommate, or employer. Additionally, a copy of the process should be mailed via Certified Mail to the recipient’s last known address. Once these steps are completed, the intended recipient is considered served, and the case can proceed.

Service by Publication

If service by publication is allowed, the process server can publish a notice in the local newspaper for the intended recipient, including details of their upcoming court matters. After the notice is published for the required period, the intended recipient is considered served, and the case can proceed.

Have Anyone Served in Dallas by Accurate Serve®

If you need to serve process to someone in the Dallas metro area, including all of Dallas County and surrounding areas, but aren’t sure of their current location, contact Accurate Serve®. Our years of experience and attention to detail are exactly what you need to find the recipient and have them properly served in a timely manner. To get started today, give us a call at 214-555-1234 or send us a work request online.