Do I have to accept court documents if they were thrown in my houseand not physically received?

UPDATED: Mar 9, 2012

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Do I have to accept court documents if they were thrown in my houseand not physically received?

A lady came today, knocked on my door and then through court papers into my house. These papers were not handed to anyone just thrown. The papers had my name and Jane Doe as my wife. I did not speak with the lady. I was not present. These papers were to inform me that a lawsuit was started regarding an unpaid credit card bill. Do I have to accept these papers? Can the lady enter my home (her arm extended into my house) without permission? Do I have any recourse? Do I have to accept these papers?

Asked on March 9, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

What you have written about is a process where you were seemingly served with a lawsuit (summons and complaint). If you do not answer the summons and complaint with a legal filing usually in 30 days of service, you could very well end up being defaulted and end up with a judgment against you.

The process server did what she did. Whether that is legal or not at this point is not really the issue since there will be a filed proof of service indicating that you were served with process. Your recourse for any possible improper service would be to file a motion to strike the service. However, that would cost time and money. You do not have to "accept" the papers, but if you do not, you most likely will be defaulted.

I recommend that you consult with an attorney that practices in the area of consumer law to help you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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