serving court papers without address

How to Serve Court Papers Without an Address

Writer’s Bio: Lewis Murawski is the Managing Director of Kahootz Media digital marketing agency. He has been ranking websites on the first page of Google for more than 10 years. 

It’s important that all court orders are served correctly, and in accordance with any special instructions. This is to avoid any holdups or other problems with the court hearing. Incorrectly served paperwork could mean the case is postponed, or worse still, thrown out of court completely.

Hiring the services of a professional process server will ensure your papers are served in accordance with the specific order being served. You may want to attempt to serve the papers yourself, or hire a professional to do it for you. Either way, the following advice is sure to help.

How to Serve Court Papers Without an Address

One of the most common enquiries we get on a day-to-day basis is how to serve court documents without an address in which to serve them to. First and foremost, most process servers will provide trace services with access to databases and intelligence to track most individuals down in the UK. If the respondent is particularly elusive, then it is possible to get the court to approve subsisted or ‘deemed’ service. This is the approval of service of process where the person to be served cannot be reached. A court may attempt service of process via 1st class post to the last known address of the person being served. It is not a foolproof method and in many cases, we are contacted as a matter of urgency to serve papers that haven’t been acknowledged or the person is not responding at the last known address.

Substituted Service Of Process

Things do vary from the type of court order being served when trying to serve court papers without an address. For example, you can run an ad in the newspaper where you and your spouse used to live and / or where relatives live to achieve substituted service. You must save a copy of the ad, and there are rules on how the long the advertisement must run.

The internet is a great way of accessing people that can’t be found. Social media in particular can lead a trail to the whereabouts of an individual. Some courts are willing to accept service via social media if it can be proven that the documents have reached the intended recipient and that other legitimate methods of service have been tried and failed. Email is another option, but proof of service is hard to achieve. Technology nowadays means that read receipts are obtainable on certain social media platforms and chat applications such as WhatsApp. This can help provide further evidence that the documents have been received, and are just being ignored. Tight timescales are often put on the service of court orders following or preceding the the hearing. It can be quite stressful trying to serve someone court papers without their address but follow these three simple steps.

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How to Serve Someone Court Papers if You Don’t Have an Address

  1. Hire a professional firm to trace and serve the court papers in accordance with any special instructions.
  2. Provide as much information as possible. Last known address, social media profiles, and details of close friends and relatives.
  3. Act quickly and work on a ‘need to know basis’. The less people aware of the fact that you or a process server are looking for someone, the better.

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