The law of yelling at process servers

The process server’s affidavit in Norris v. Causey said that (1) the defendant’s wife “yelled through the door that she would not accept service, and (2) he then posted the summons and complaint on the defendant’s door. The affidavit did not say, however, that these events occurred on the same day, which led to a remand for additional fact-finding by the district court: “It turns out that whether the yelling and posting happened the same day matters a great deal. Leaving a summons and complaint at a residence door, unaccompanied by a refusal to accept service, is not effective service under Rule 4. . . .   This means that if Garry’s wife was not present, let alone refusing service, on the day the process server posted the documents on the door, Garry’s service was likely defective. On the other hand, a defendant’s refusal to accept service is not rewarded when the process server announces the nature of the documents and leaves them in close proximity to the defiant defendant.” No. 16-30339 (Aug. 22, 2017).

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