Some Legal Papers were Posted to My Door… Have I Really Been Served with a Lawsuit?

Most likely yes.

Of course the most common (and preferred) way of serving someone with notice of a lawsuit is through personal service (where a law officer or professional process server physically hands the legal papers to the person being served).  However, if the judge has signed an order permitting service by attaching or posting to a door, then service in that manner is just as valid and legally sufficient. 

Rule 106 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure also allows the court to order other methods of service – by leaving the papers with anyone over 16 years of age at a defendant’s residence or workplace, for example.  In fact, Rule 106 is written so broadly that a judge can order service of process in any manner which the court finds is reasonably effective to give a defendant notice of the lawsuit.

Good rule of thumb – if you find a lawsuit attached to your door, or a gate leading to your property, or any other place – basically, if you find legal papers anywhere with your name on it – you should assume that you have been served!  And then it is always advisable to consult with an attorney about your legal options at that point.

— Bonnie Sudderth, Judge of the 352nd District Court of Tarrant County, Texas

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