At this point in the process, the Landlord served the Tenant with the Notice of Termination (Step I) and attempted to serve the Summons via Sheriff and Special Process Server (Step II) and the Tenant is still avoiding service. Well, there is one last finally step to complete Service of Process before the Landlord can exercise their rights of possession. In Step III we discuss how the serve the Tenant through Publication. Additionally, we discuss serving a commercial property or business.
Step III: Serving Through Publication
If the Sheriff and Special Process Server are not able to serve the Tenant, the Landlord may complete proper service by publication. Service by publication means that a notice is published in a newspaper in the area where the lawsuit was filed. A person needs to file a Motion for Leave to service by Publication and an Affidavit for Service by Publication before being allowed to give service through the newspaper.
Before the Court will approve the motion, the Landlord must show attempted service on the Tenant by Sheriff and the Special Process Server but was still unable to serve the Tenant.
Although this may allow the lawsuit to continue, a Landlord cannot get everything they ask for in the suit from the Tenant if service is only completed by publication. There will be no money judgment against the Tenant when service is done by Publication.
Bonus: Serving a company or partnership
There are separate rules for service of process on corporations or partnerships, however, the steps are similar. Landlord must first serve a Termination Notice. Generally, the summons must be served on the registered agent representing the corporation or partnership or on an officer of the corporation or partnership.
Must a Landlord use a Landlord/Tenant Attorney?
Attorneys are helpful to Landlords because the procedures for filing for eviction cases can have several hurdles that may cause delay or dismissal of a case. This may cause the Landlord more money and time.
From serving the initial eviction notice through obtaining the order for possession, an experienced landlord/tenant law attorney can assist through all phases of the eviction process. While some landlords may want to pursue legal action on their own, few understand the nuances of document preparation and filing that is necessary to navigate the court system and see the trial through without delay or dismissal.
An experienced landlord/tenant attorney will be able to guide landlords through the varying logistics of their county and advise them of what to expect and how to prepare for their eviction lawsuit. If you are a Landlord and have an eviction issue, we can help. Contact Nowlin Scott Law Firm today at 312-715-8362 to request a case evaluation.