How to Serve Someone Who Won T Answer the Door

Title: How to Serve Someone Who Won’t Answer the Door


Serving legal documents can be a challenging task, especially when the person you need to serve refuses to answer the door. Whether you are a process server, a legal professional, or an individual attempting to serve someone, it is crucial to understand the proper steps to take in such situations. This article will guide you through various strategies and legal alternatives to successfully serve someone who won’t answer the door.

1. Exhaust all conventional methods:

Before exploring alternative options, it is essential to make sure you have exhausted all traditional methods of serving someone. This includes attempting to serve the person at different times of the day, leaving a note or voicemail requesting a meeting, or contacting the person’s workplace or family members to arrange a suitable time for service.

2. Use a different approach:

a) Stakeouts: If the person you need to serve follows a predictable routine, consider conducting a stakeout. Observe their daily activities and identify a time when they are more likely to be at home and answer the door.

b) Disguise your identity: If the individual recognizes you as the process server, they may intentionally avoid opening the door. In such cases, consider using an inconspicuous disguise or partnering with a colleague who is unfamiliar to the individual.

c) Hire a professional process server: If your attempts to serve the person have been unsuccessful, it may be worthwhile to hire a professional process server. They possess specialized knowledge and experience in serving individuals who are evasive or uncooperative.

See also  You Have an Aqueous Solution for Which [h3o+] = 2.5 X 10-4 M. What Is the PH of This Solution?

3. Utilize alternative methods of service:

a) Substituted service: In certain jurisdictions, if you have made reasonable efforts to serve someone, you may be allowed to leave the documents with a responsible adult at the person’s residence or workplace. This method is commonly used when the individual is intentionally avoiding service.

b) Mail service: In some cases, serving through certified mail or registered mail is an acceptable method. Ensure that the legal requirements for mail service are met, such as obtaining a return receipt and providing a proof of mailing.

c) Publication service: If all other methods fail, you may be authorized to publish a legal notice in a newspaper or other designated publication. This method is typically used as a last resort and requires court approval.


Q1: Can I serve someone by simply leaving the documents at their doorstep?
A1: Generally, leaving documents at someone’s doorstep without their consent is not considered proper service. However, some jurisdictions allow substituted service by leaving the documents with a responsible adult or affixing them to the door.

Q2: Can I serve someone at their workplace?
A2: Serving someone at their workplace is often acceptable, provided it does not violate any employment policies or disrupt their work environment. However, it is advisable to consult local laws and regulations or seek legal advice before serving someone at their place of employment.

Q3: How can I prove that I attempted to serve someone who won’t answer the door?
A3: Documentation is crucial in such cases. Maintain a detailed record of all attempts made, including dates, times, and methods used. Keep copies of any correspondence, notes, or voicemails left, as they can serve as evidence of your efforts to serve the individual.

See also  According to United Healthcare Policy When Must a Marketing/Sales Event Be Reported

Q4: What if I cannot locate the person I need to serve?
A4: If you are unable to locate the person, it may be necessary to conduct a skip trace investigation or seek assistance from a professional investigator. These experts have access to databases and resources that can help locate the individual.


Serving someone who won’t answer the door can be frustrating, but it is crucial to remain persistent and explore alternative methods of service. Remember to always comply with local laws and regulations, and consult with legal professionals if you encounter any obstacles during the process. By following the strategies outlined in this article, you increase your chances of successfully serving someone who is evasive or uncooperative.

Related Posts