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To be served a summons and complaint do you have to sign for it or can it be left at the door?
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To be served a summons and complaint do you have to sign for it or can it be left at the door?

I was told i was served on a certain date but i wasn't. was also told it was served to me dierctly and didn't sign for it and use dmy liscense plate number as evidence as being served. Can they really use that as evidence for being served or dont they have to serve me in person and i have to sign that i got it?


You don't have to sign for a summons and complaint. The person delivering it, can be a Marshal, Sheriff, Constable, or a Private Process Server. Usually (depending on the jurisdiction) they have to identify you by sight and either hand deliver the documents or leave them in a place where you can see them (people think it's like a game of tag where the paper has to touch them, but it doesn't. It can be left under their windshield wiper, dropped at their feet or at their doorstep.

Some states have rules allowing the documents to be delivered to a person living at the same address who is over the age of 16 or 18. Others require the server to go back to court once the address is verified and request an order for substituted service which allows the server to deliver the documents by either giving them to someone at the residence who is over a certain age or to post them conspicuously on the door.

There might be some unscrupulous people who claim to have served the papers when they just dropped them, and when they sign the return they commit perjury. Only the judge decides the if the respondent/defendant was served, and if they show up in court, then whether or not the service was proper is not an issue.

Greg P
If the process server tried multiple times and failed, they probably filled out an affidavit saying that you are willingly and intentionally avoiding being served. If they did, then leaving it on your door and using your license plate number (to show you were home at the time) would be proof enough.

Every jurisdiction has its own rules regarding valid service. Typically, if in-hand service cannot be made after a number of attempts, the sumons and complaint can be left at the residence. Some jurisdictions also require the papers to be mailed. You need to read the affidavit of service to see exactly what was done.

it depends on the summons. Who served you? If it's not a Sheriff deputy or police officer, how do they know if the car tag belongs to you? A general process server can't run a tag for identification. You can also allow others to drive your vehicle. Are they willing to swear in court that you were behind the wheel when you refused to sign the summons? I have a lot of problem with this scenario.
If you in deed did not receive the summons, you should report that to the clerk of the court and ask for a continuance. At any rate, whatever the summons is for, you should take care of it before court. Don't let things get so bogged down that you need to be in this situation again.
Good Luck

The rules regarding service of summons and complaint vary according to jurisdiction.

Go to your local courthouse law library and read the rules for the particular court, i.e. local county rules and state rules.

i got summons through letter box .i admit haveing no insurance .as id sold the car to scrapman/but i had to drive it down to the streetl'i explained this to garda but he wanted in insurance disc.i had in surance on other car./could i be put of the road .ineed the car as i work part time with elderly/could i just get afine please .im out my withs for being stupid

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