Service of process is an important aspect of every lawsuit filed in California. If a defendant is not served and thus does not receive notice of a lawsuit, then any judgment entered against them is void, and the plaintiff will have to begin the litigation process all over again.
While service of process can be an easy affair when the locations of the defendant(s) are known, the situation becomes much more difficult when one or more parties don’t have a set address, or perhaps do not want to be found.
At that juncture, service by publication may be available as a last resort. But litigants must take care to realize that service by publication is not automatic, and cannot be attempted from the outset. Instead, set statutory rules need to be followed before this method of service may be authorized by the court.