Unfortunately, this stuff varies widely by state--assuming you live in one state, only ever lived in that state, and only signed CC agreements in that state.
It becomes very confusing when two or more states are involved. Attorneys, judges and even AGs interpret these things very differently, and just about every combination of what if and either or has been expressed by one at some time. And not some nit taking thru his hat. Knowledgeable people who know the law.
Bottomline: In about 99%+ of all cases, one will get served and sued in the state where one resides when you get served. These are CAs. Low common denominator. KISS principle. Sue the deadbeat in the state where they live because we know we got 'em on solid ground there.
Upon an individual, other than a minor or an incompetent person, by serving the individual or by leaving a copy of the summons and the complaint at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein or by delivering a copy of the summons and the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process;
If service of process is refused, and the certified mail receipt or the return of the person serving process states that service of process has been refused, the clerk shall send by ordinary mail a copy of the summons or other process and complaint or other document to be served to the defendant at the address set forth in the complaint or other document to be served. Service shall be deemed complete when the fact of mailing is entered of record.
All service of process within this state shall be made as provided in this rule except when service by publication is available pursuant to Rule 4.3. Service within this state under this rule shall include delivery by a process server and service by certified mail; and each of the foregoing methods of service shall be deemed to confer in personam jurisdiction. Unless otherwise requested or permitted by these rules, service of process within this state shall be made by delivery by a process server.
The person serving process shall locate the person to be served and shall deliver a copy of the process and accompanying documents to the person to be served. When the copy of the process has been delivered, the person serving process shall endorse that fact on the process and return it to the clerk, who shall make the appropriate entry on the docket sheet relating to the action. The return of the person serving process in the manner described herein shall be prima facie evidence that process has been served.
When the person serving process is unable to serve a copy of the process within thirty (30) days, the person serving process shall endorse that fact and the reason therefor on the process and return the process and copies to the clerk who shall make the appropriate entry on the docket sheet of the action. In the event of failure of service, the clerk shall forthwith notify, by mail, the attorney of record or if there is no attorney of record, the party at whose instance process was issued. The clerk shall enter the fact of notification on the docket sheet of the action. Failure to make service within the thirty(30)-day period and failure to make proof of service do not affect the validity of service.
OK, now that my brain is all cramped up. Can one of you legal wonders, or anyone whos head this dosen't make hurt, distill this down into english.
I am a fairly intelligent guy. But the legal speak and convolutions make my eyes cross, and I have a skeet tournament next weekend and cannot afford to have them crossed..