Welcome to part two of our discussion on why avoiding service of process is a futile attempt. Aside from the fact that personal service is not the only service that is accepted by the courts, attempting to avoid being served can also bring about negative consequences. Let’s get into what those can be.
Defendants who choose to evade service and go into hiding expose themselves to the financial liabilities incurred by the investigation and skip tracing efforts aimed at locating them. Investigators, like ours at Roland Investigations, employ various techniques collectively known as skip tracing to find individuals who cannot be located at their last known address or place of business. While skip tracing used to involve traditional methods like making phone calls and conducting physical searches, it has become increasingly sophisticated with the advancements in technology. This has made it more challenging than ever to evade legal actions due to the wide array of available investigative tools, including:
While skip tracing techniques have improved the likelihood of locating defendants, the costs associated with labor and technology are substantial. Defendants who successfully avoid being served run the risk of being held responsible for these expenses.
The most compelling reason to refrain from evading service is that it can lead to the forfeiture of legal rights, resulting in consequences far more severe than the lawsuits themselves. While defendants who believe they have outsmarted the system by eluding service may find amusement in their clandestine hideouts, a judgment can still be entered against them. This can occur because, while they were in hiding, they were unaware that they had been served through substituted service or "nail and mail." When the time period for their right to defend the action expires, the judge may issue a default judgment against them. As a result, they become liable for all the costs associated with attempted service, the attempts to locate them, as well as the attorney's fees and other expenses incurred in attempting to overturn the default judgment. In some cases, defendants may even be held liable for the default judgment itself, in addition to the investigation costs and attorney fees. Rather than avoiding service, it would have been far more advantageous for them to allocate their resources towards seeking dismissal of the case or defending against the allegations presented in the legal action against them.
Of course, no one wants to be involved in a court case, but being served is inevitable. Don’t forfeit your rights by attempting to avoid being served. Comply to the best of your ability in order to receive the best outcomes for yourself. And, of course, if you need service of process or skip tracing services, reach out to our team at Roland Investigations for assistance.
By Roland Investigations 6-19-2023
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