What Do I Do If I Was Not "Served" Properly?

When you answer, tell the Clerk or the Judge if the landlord did not follow one of these three ways to serve you with the legal papers. The Judge may decide to set a date for a hearing, called a "traverse" hearing, to decide whether the service of the court papers was proper. The landlord's process server may be asked to tell under oath how the legal papers were served. You will have the right to ask the process server questions, to testify yourself, and to call witnesses to explain that the papers were not received in one of the ways described above. If the Judge finds the service of the legal papers was not correct, the case will be dismissed. However, the landlord may start the case over again by giving you a new set of legal papers. If you receive a new set of legal papers, do not ignore these court papers. You must answer them as described above or you may be evicted from your home.