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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 9 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. 


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