Substituted Service Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Substituted Service, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Substituted Service?

(n) When a notice which required to be served to the person directly is served to an authorized person or is served by an authorized means of service it is called substituted service. Substituted service includes handing over the documents to an adult staying in the address recorded, authorized employee available in the address, authorized agent for collecting documents. Substituted service can be achieved by posting document at the place of relevance like attached property and serving a recorded mail to that effect

History and Meaning of Substituted Service

Substituted service is a legal term that refers to the method of serving legal documents to an individual through a third-party when it is not possible or feasible to serve the documents directly. The concept of substituted service originated from the common law practice of legal service in England. It was developed to ensure that individuals could be held accountable for legal actions against them, regardless of the circumstances.

Substituted service is also known as alternative service, and it is governed by specific laws and regulations in different jurisdictions. The purpose of the laws is to ensure that the party being served is aware of the legal proceedings against them and has an opportunity to respond.

Examples of Substituted Service

  1. A landlord who wants to evict a tenant but cannot serve notice personally may use substituted service by mailing the notice to the tenant's last known address and posting it on the tenant's door.

  2. A plaintiff who is unable to serve a defendant in a personal injury case directly may use substituted service by serving the defendant's insurance company or their agent.

  3. In divorce proceedings, if one spouse cannot be found or is evading service, the petitioner's lawyer may use substituted service by mailing the papers to the other spouse's last know address and publishing a notice in a local newspaper.

Legal Terms Similar to Substituted Service

  1. Personal Service: This refers to the legal process of serving legal documents directly to an individual, as opposed to substituted service.

  2. Constructive Service: This term refers to a method of service in which legal documents are not directly served on the recipient but rather published in a newspaper or posted in a public place.

  3. Affidavit of Service: A legal document that confirms that a party has been served with legal documents and outlines the method of service used.