If you are looking to serve papers to your spouse or another individual that you cannot track down, you might wonder if someone else can accept served papers on their behalf. In the state of Maryland, the process of serving papers is straightforward. You cannot serve papers to another individual in your case. When serving, the individual must be over the age of 18, a family member or friend, or you can hire a professional process server to serve papers on your behalf. However, serving papers can get complicated if you cannot locate who you want to serve. So, what happens next?
Essential Rules Surrounding Who Can Accept Served Papers
If you can’t locate your former spouse or the individual you’re attempting to serve, you should know that there are essential rules surrounding who can accept served papers. In Maryland, whomever you are serving the papers to must be the direct recipient of served papers. This means that you have to serve the individual in question directly. However, there is an exception to this rule. If your former spouse or the individual you’re attempting to serve lives with other people, the papers can be served to an individual over the age of 18 who lives in the same house as them. You must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to the judge that this individual resides with whom you are serving.
Can Anyone Avoid Being Served Papers?
If someone is being served a criminal complaint or subpoena, they may attempt to avoid being served papers. However, this attempt to avoid being served is temporary. They cannot avoid being served papers forever, after all. While avoiding being served papers isn’t necessarily illegal, it can introduce consequences for the individual who is avoiding being served. For example, court orders and decisions may be made without the individual in question. Or, the case may become drawn out and even more expensive for both parties.
What If The Person Served Won’t Sign?
In some instances, the recipient of the served papers might refuse to sign the papers to indicate they’ve received them. When an individual purposely avoids signing the return receipt on papers they’re served with, you will have to keep trying to serve them. If you’ve made numerous attempts to serve an individual and they still refuse to sign the papers, you can seek out a legal consultation with Albers & Associates or request permission to serve the individual by another route. This can get the ball rolling for your case when you’ve exhausted all other avenues.
Albers & Associates is Your Experienced Legal Team
Albers & Associates is your highly experienced Baltimore legal team. We can advocate on your behalf for the best possible resolution for your case. Our highly skilled legal team can expertly navigate your case and work with you during this difficult time. Contact us today for a consultation. You can also give us a call at our downtown Baltimore, MD office (410) 505-0671 or Dundalk, MD office (410) 505-7831.