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5 Steps to Take Once You’ve Been Served

Having a process server show up at your work or your house and handing you legal paperwork can be absolutely terrifying. You may have no idea what the papers are for, or you may know, but just seeing that official procedure taking place can make you feel intimidated.

Whether you are surprised by being served or not, you need to keep your cool when you get those papers in your hand. Here are five things you need to do right away once you’ve been served in Mesa:


Review the Paperwork

The first thing you need to do when you are served is find out why. You need to review the paperwork to see what it says. You may be called to be a witness in a proceeding, or you may be being notified that your wife is filing for divorce. The paperwork will make it clear why you are being served.

Never make assumptions about why you are being served. For example, you may know that your spouse is filing for divorce, so you only give the papers a cursory glance. But you may not realize that your spouse is also trying to claim full custody of your children or trying to seize your marital home. Or you may assume it’s your divorce and be surprised by the coincidence that you’re actually being sued. Always look at the paperwork to know for sure.

Check for a Deadline and Court Date

Typically, you will have a certain amount of time to reply after you have been served. For example, you might have 30 days to reply to a divorce complaint if you want to dispute the grounds for the divorce, the custody arrangement, or some other issue. The paperwork you are given will have information about the deadline. The clock will start the moment you are handed the papers.

You should also check the papers to see if a court date has already been set. You will need to be at court on that day, or you will forfeit your right to make an argument. You may even face legal consequences.

Figure Out What Kind of Notice You’ve Been Give

There are several types of notices you may be given when you are served. The most common are summonses and complaints. These would cover things like divorce or a lawsuit. If you do not file an answer, a judgement will be made without your input. The judgement will likely not be in your favor.

A writ of garnishment would let you know that your employer or your bank will deduct what you owe out of your check or your account. You may receive this if you owe child support or have been ordered to pay a settlement in a lawsuit. You may also receive a subpoena if you have been called as a witness in a case.

Obey the Order

In some cases, an order may be entered against you, and you may be served notice of it. The most common type is a restraining order, which says that you cannot be within a certain distance of a person or place. The restraining order may also put other restrictions on your behavior. The moment you are served notice of this order, it is in effect. You must obey the order, or you will face legal consequences.

Call an Attorney

No matter what kind of notice you have received, you know that legal action has been brought against you or that you are now involved in a legal matter. You should contact an attorney in Mesa right away to discuss your options and to better understand what your legal rights and responsibilities are.

Getting served in Mesa may be a very serious situation, or it may be just a formality in a straightforward legal process. You’ll need to review the paperwork and talk to an attorney to ensure that you are doing what you need to do and that your rights are protected.

If you plan to be the plaintiff in a legal proceeding in Mesa or the surrounding area, you should contact ASAP Serve to hire a professional process server. We can handle all types of cases, including divorce, adoption, child custody or support, personal injury cases, criminal cases, and more. Our servers will ensure speedy process of service and accuracy. We also offer skip tracing and case research. Contact us in Mesa today or fill out our online form to get started.

Published By – ASAP Serve, LLC

1837 S Mesa Dr C102
Mesa, AZ 85210
Office: 480-821-1552

2820 S Alma School Rd, #18
Chandler, AZ 85286
Office: 480-351-1743

14245 S 48th St #148
Phoenix, AZ 85044
Office: 480-845-0728

2509 N Campbell Ave #236
Tucson, AZ 85719
Office: (520) 448-4929