Nobody wants to be involved in a lawsuit
Most defendants think that by avoiding service, they can avoid a judgement. But in reality, all they are doing is delaying the inevitable. Eventually justice will be served. You need to have patience.
Sure you can have your buddy try to serve the lawsuit, but are they also willing to show up to court and say they made all those attempts within what the law requires them to do? As professional process servers, we stand behind our statements. We do this for a living. We are rarely called into court to defend a proper service, but we'll do so when we the judge requests our presence.
To help you get the defendant served on the first attempt, you need to provide us with as much information as you can find out about them so that we can act on that information. For example:
- What time do they leave for work and return home?
- What kind of car do they drive?
- What's the license plate number?
- Where do they usually park their car?
- Where do they work?
- Where do they shop?
- When do they take a lunch break?
- What else do they do outside of work?
- Who else over 18 lives with them?
Maybe you're not sure where to find the defendant. Perhaps the address they gave you is wrong or they have moved. If you have no idea where to find the defendant, it may be better to dismiss the case without prejudice and refile later once you've found them. You'll probably need to refile anyway if they have moved outside the original court's jurisdiction. In any case, you also may want to hire a private investigator to locate the defendant.
If you're sure you know where the defendant lives but think they would likely hide behind the door, don't worry about it. We'll get them served as long as they information you provide is accurate. With small claims cases, although personal service is best, substituted service will also work. That means we can leave papers with a defendant's roommate or at their place of work even if they are avoiding service.
Say the defendant has no job and no roommate. Well they have to come out of the house eventually right? You can pay our servers for "wait time". That means you give us a window of time in which you think the defendant is likely to leave the house, and we'll be out there waiting for them.