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Sewer service in California litigation

The issue of sewer service in litigation is the topic of this blog post. The term sewer service refers to the figurative and in some cases actual practice of throwing the summons and complaint in the sewers near the homes of defendants such as debtors and then obtaining a default judgment from the court by filing a false proof of service. The great majority of cases that I work on are from the State of California although the basic principles discussed in this blog post should be quite similar throughout the United States.

This despicable and illegal practice has been going on for over 40 years and is growing more and more widespread all over the United States, particularly in debt collection cases. Note that any judgment entered without valid service of process is void anywhere in the United States as the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously in a case decided over 25 years ago that a judgment entered where the defendant was not properly served is void, violates due process and can be set aside at any time.

I do believe that most process servers are honest and would never falsely claim that they served someone whom they had never served. However I also know from my own personal knowledge working in California and Federal litigation since 1995 that extreme cases of sewer service are a fact.

I recently worked on a case where the defendant was supposedly served by substituted service at a mail drop that he had not used as an address for over 2 years, the lawyers for the plaintiff had sent a demand letter to a post office box several months before. The defendant had no knowledge of the lawsuit or judgment until he was informed by someone that the real property he had sold to them had a lien on it. He then went to the Courthouse and copied the entire Court file. The documents show that one process server with one company had went to the mail drop office several times but that they “cannot verify the address is still used by the defendant”. Another document filed several months later by another process server with another company claims that they performed substituted service on the female employee “who verified the address is still used by the defendant.”

I worked on another case several years ago where on the exact date and time that the alleged service was made the defendants were on an airplane and were flying to the Philippines!

Cases such as the ones I have just described are a good situation in which to seriously consider filing a motion to vacate the default and judgment under California Code of Civil Procedure section 473(d) on the grounds that the default and judgment are void due to defective service of process resulting in a judgment void for lack of personal jurisdiction and also requesting that service be quashed as well.

Attorneys or parties in California that would like to view a portion of a 11 page sample motion to vacate a void judgment under Code of Civil Procedure section 473(d) and quash service of process containing brief instructions, a memorandum of points and authorities with citations to case law and statutory authority, sample declaration and proof of service by mail sold by the author can see below.

Attorneys or parties who wish to view portions of over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation created by the author of this blog post can use the link shown below.


The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is an entrepreneur and freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation.

*Do you want to use this article on your website, blog or e-zine? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it: “Stan Burman is the author of over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation and is the author of a free weekly legal newsletter. You can receive 10 free gifts just for subscribing. Just visit http://freeweeklylegalnewsletter.gr8.com/ for more information.

Follow the author on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/LegalDocsPro

You can view sample legal document packages for sale by going to http://www.legaldocspro.com/downloads.aspx


Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.


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