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What Happens if the Person Being Served Refuses to Accept the Papers?

We’ve all seen a scene in a movie where a process server attempts to serve lawsuit papers to an unwilling defendant, who quickly escapes without accepting the documents, avoiding the legal matter until they encounter the process server again. However, in the real world, this isn’t how it happens. Even if a defendant or other person being served refuses to accept the paperwork, once they’ve been identified, the service is considered valid and the court case will proceed.

What if They Never Touch the Documents?

We often hear the misconception that if the person to be served never actually touches the documents, then they can’t be considered served. This is just false. If the person being served refuses to accept the documents in hand, the process server can still document that they were delivered to the correct person. Not touching the actual papers to avoid the service isn’t clever and achieves nothing.

What if They Throw the Papers Away?

Some process recipients like to make a grand display and dispose of the documents in front of the process server. However, throwing the documents away doesn’t make them less valid, and the service will still be considered successful. 

What if They Can’t be Found?

Sometimes a process recipient is able to elude the process server, even after several service attempts. In these cases, the process server can request to serve the person by alternative means. In Michigan, these alternative means can include posting in the newspaper or posting at the courthouse and in two other public locations, according to Michigan’s Rules of Civil Procedure.

Detroit’s Best Process Servers

For process servers who know how to handle disagreeable process recipients, look no further than the premier team at Accurate Serve® of Detroit. From legal firms to individual litigants to property managers and more, many trust us to reliably deliver their important legal paperwork. If you’re in Detroit and you have court documents or other critical information to be delivered, call us at 313-385-3703 or send us a work requests online to get started with the best process service agency in Wayne County.