What is an Affidavit of Service? – Burlington Divorce Lawyer
FAMILY LAW LAWYER BURLINGTON
Many folks who decide to represent themselves in family court or civil court are stumped when it comes to the Affidavit of Service or also referred to as proof of service.
An Affidavit of Service is a document confirming service of a document. What type of document requires an Affidavit of Service? My answer...... a document that is super duper important. For example, a simple notice letter to the other side advising you may be starting a lawsuit does not require an Affidavit of Service. However, the lawsuit itself will.
In today’s hyper technological fast paced world, the concept of the Affidavit of Service is really pointless. Also, I have found in my experience that self represented folks, will go so far as to swear a false Affidavit of Service.
If you are looking to serve an individual with official court documents. Ensure that you check the requisite rules for how service is considered effective. For example, in the situation of a Statement of Claim or an Application for family law documents will have to be served personally. It’s also not enough that you went by once, and the individual wasn’t home and you simply wiped your brow and called it a day. Most courts require three reasonable attempts. That means making at least three attempts. In order to really convince a court those three attempts must be staggered. So it isn’t enough that you attended at 1:00 PM and then returned at 1:30 PM and then 2:00 PM.
If an individual responds at the door, but its not the person you are serving you must confirm they reside at the address. You must also ensure that any members of that household be over 18 for the purposes of serving. Meaning, you can’t just walk over and serve the 14 year old goofball lounging at home that day.
If you do manage to successfully serve you must also obtain the name of the person, and the time and date. All of this information will be used in your Affidavit of Service.
On completing the Affidavit of Service you will also need it officially sworn by a commissioner for taking oaths or a notary. Some court staff will provide this service.
Once, you have completed the Affidavit of Service you must return to the court and file it, as confirmation the individual was served.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I CAN'T FIND THE DEFENDANTS?
See my discussion entitled What happens if I can't serve the court documents?
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