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deadline for being served a summons

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I live in California. I (and 12 others) are being sued in a bogus personal injury lawsuit arising from an auto accident. I have several witnesses, plus insurance investigator stating Plantiff is 100% at fault. (Plantiff passed our vehicle on the right, he drove on the shoulder of the road and hit the front left of our vehicle as he attempted to get back in the traffic lane). Most likely will not need to look for a technicality, but...is there a time limit to serving defendant a summons after it was filed with the court? Accident date: 29DEC99, Filing date: 29DEC00, I was served 30May01. I wasn't served until five months after suit was filed, then it was handed to my 15 year old daughter (I wasn't home) with instructions that we should call the Plantiffs lawyer if we have questions.


Senior Member
My response:

The deadline in California is 60 days, pursuant to the Fast Track Rules; however, that situation is between the Plaintiff and the court - - and has nothing to do with you. As long as you've been served prior to the expiration of 2 years, you're served.

Have you turned this matter over to your insurance company yet ? You've already paid for a defense attorney by paying your insurance premiums. You are entitled to a defense. If you haven't, your time is quickly running out, and the Plaintiff could, despite your facts of fault, obtain a default judgment against you !

Also, you need to inform your insurance company that your minor child was the one sub-served with the Summons and Complaint. A minor, under the law of California, cannot be "competent" or "in apparent control" of the premises to receive "process". Service must be made on an adult.

Lastly, when a person is sub-served, the Plaintiff MUST mail a copy of the Summons and Complaint to you. Go to the courthouse and get a copy of the "Proof of Service" that the Plaintiff filed. This will help your insurance company defense attorney, and you.


[Edited by I AM ALWAYS LIABLE on 06-12-2001 at 04:52 PM]



Thanks for the quick and informative reply. Yes, I've notified my insurance company (AAA)they stated that they will defend me. No, I was never mailed a copy of the summons--I'll be sure to notify AAA's attorney of the delivery to a minor child. Although I'm confident that the facts will vindicate me, I'd love to find a technicality to dismiss this ridiculous and false claim. For some strange reason I'd get greater joy out of his suit being rejected on the basis of stupidity than winning a judgement. Thanks again.

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