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Notice And Opportunity To Be Heard

A. Generally

A court that has proper jurisdiction over a case may only proceed when the defendant has proper notice of the proceedings against him. Proper notice usually entails service of “process” consisting of a summons to appear and a copy of the complaint. The defendant need not necessarily receive actual notice of the suit but the procedures followed must be “reasonably likely” to provide notice. The defendant must have adequate time to prepare his defense.

B. Methods of Service

1. In Hand Service
Defendant is physically handed a summons.

2. Attachment
Defendant receives notice by the attachment of his tangible property. Statutes typically require additional notice such as mailing the summons or publication.

3. Garnishment
Garnishment of a debt or other nontangible property will satisfy the notice requirement in quasi in rem cases. Statutes require that further notice be provided.

4. Substituted Service
Modern statutes often allow substituted service so that justice will reach a defendant avoiding “hand service.” Some types of substituted service generally allowed:

a. Mail

b. Summons affixed to door of the defendant’s unattended dwelling

c. Summons left at defendant’s dwelling

d. Court order

e. Summons left with a person of “suitable age and discretion” residing in the same dwelling as the defendant

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