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serving the petition of divorce


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#1 ricomom

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:21 AM

I was wondering once you file for a petition for divorce how long do you have to successfully serve the respondent? If you are having a hard time serving the respondent is there an expiration date and you have to re-file and try to serve again? This is in the state of California. --thank you

#2 pg1067

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:36 AM

Title 5 of the California Rules of Court (http://www.courts.ca....cfm?title=five) govern family and juvenile matters. Articles 3 and 4 of Chapter 4 of Division 1 of Title 5 deal with service of papers and the manner of service. It does not appear that there is any rule dictating how much time the petitioner has to serve the summons and petition. Accordingly, Rule 3.110 (http://www.courts.ca...inkid=rule3_110) should govern this issue. However, the 60 day rule is not strictly enforced, and there are no specific consequences for not getting service done in this time. Rule 3.110(f) states that, "If a party fails to serve . . . pleadings as required under this rule, and has not obtained an order extending time to serve its pleadings, the court may issue an order to show cause why sanctions shall not be imposed." Typically what happens is that, if the plaintiff/petitioner has any reasonably valid reason for not effecting service in a timely manner, the court will simply give the plaintiff/petitioner additional time to effect service and threaten dismissal if it doesn't get done within the extended time.

#3 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:46 AM

Very informative response above by pg1067 regarding this subject matter. You may also want to visit the Family Law Center and read Divorce as a good resource to learn more about this topic.

#4 adjusterjack

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:04 AM

I was wondering once you file for a petition for divorce how long do you have to successfully serve the respondent? If you are having a hard time serving the respondent is there an expiration date and you have to re-file and try to serve again? This is in the state of California. --thank you


My advice is hire a private process server if you haven't yet.

They don't get paid until they serve the papers and they tend to be very creative about getting the papers served.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.


#5 ricomom

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:32 PM

Process server was used but had no luck (and is costly) he went to the residence 3 times in 1 day (on a Sunday)- in the morning and afternoon 2 different people answered the door and he was told respondent was not home. In the evening around 6 or 7 pm he was ignored and nobody answered the door at all.

#6 pg1067

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:13 PM

My advice is hire a private process server if you haven't yet.

They don't get paid until they serve the papers and they tend to be very creative about getting the papers served.


I don't know of any process servers in California who don't charge if they don't effect service (although they will usually charge less if they aren't successful).


Process server was used but had no luck (and is costly) he went to the residence 3 times in 1 day (on a Sunday)- in the morning and afternoon 2 different people answered the door and he was told respondent was not home. In the evening around 6 or 7 pm he was ignored and nobody answered the door at all.


Next time the process server goes there, he/she can effect service by leaving the papers with any adult who answers and thereafter mailing copies of the papers pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 415.20. Any competent process server should know that (and the cost shouldn't be more than about $60-75).

#7 adjusterjack

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:38 PM

I guess process servers work differently here in AZ.

Every time I hired one, I got the bill after he completed service.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.


#8 pg1067

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:29 AM

I always get the bill afterwards as well. But the amount is different depending on whether or not the service was successful, and I'm not sure the timing of the bill has much of anything to do with the terms the engagement. I cannot categorically say that some process servers in CA won't make an attempt and not charge unless successful. However, I wouldn't want to use such a process server because I wouldn't expect someone like that to put much effort into the job.




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