What to do if I don’t have forwarding info to serve a tenant a summons?

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What to do if I don’t have forwarding info to serve a tenant a summons?

I’m a landlord going though the court for eviction. My tenant was 3 months behind on rent. The first court date she was unable to be served because she avoided the sheriff. I got a second court date and before I could file the summons she moved out during the night with no forwarding information. went to court and now I have a third court date that happens to be 6 days before the lease expires. What do I do now?

Asked on June 21, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

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 locate the tenant. and serve the tenant with the documents.  You can find process servers listed under attorney services in the Yellow Pages or online.  A person has to be served a certain number of days before a hearing.  That period of time varies from state to state.  If the tenant won't be served in time to comply with the notice requirement, you would need to ask the court for a continuance.

If the tenant can't be located by a skip trace, then you can have her served by publication.  Service by publication is running the notice in the legal notices section of the newspaper for a certain period of time.  The period of time that the notice has to run varies from state to state.  The court clerk can tell you the amount of time the notice has to run in the newspaper to be valid service of publication in your state.  This may be a number of weeks.  Even if the tenant never sees the notice in the newspaper, it is still valid service by publication.


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