How do I take someone to small claims if I do not know where they live or their spouse’s name?

UPDATED: Jun 27, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How do I take someone to small claims if I do not know where they live or their spouse’s name?

A person who did work on my house, is not honoring the warranty agreed upon. Small claims says I need to put him and his wife as the defendant but I do not know her name or their address. How do I proceed without this?

Asked on June 27, 2012 under Business Law, Arizona


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can have a process server do a skip trace to find out the wife's name and also the address of the defendants.  You can find process servers listed under attorney services in the Yellow Pages or online.

If the process server obtains the wife's name, but is unable to obtain the address of the defendants, you can have the defendants served by publication.  Service by publication is running a notice of the lawsuit in the legal notices section of a newspaper for a specific period of time.  The required period of time varies from state to state, but your court clerk can tell you how long the notice has to run in the newspaper for it to be valid service by publication.  It is valid service by publication even if the defendants don't see the notice in the newspaper. 

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption