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Property manager owes us money, need help with small claims court filing

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zoelee

Active Member
You're welcome, zoelee. Thanks for the thanks. :)
Hi quincy, and everyone else,

I was told that a PO Box cannot be served. I looked up the guy via the county website and found a couple of physical addresses under his name. One residential, the other commercial. Should I use those two for serving instead?

Thanks!
 

quincy

Senior Member
You are correct that a PO Box cannot be personally served. You can serve him wherever you can find him.
 

zoelee

Active Member
You are correct that a PO Box cannot be personally served. You can serve him wherever you can find him.
I sent my demand of payment letter to his residential address more than a month ago, I saw that there are a couple of attempted delivery but he hasn't accepted it. The one sent to his PO Box was signed by another person (probably an employee for the mail box office) and returned in a few days. Not sure if he is trying to avoid the letter or not living there?

Given this situation, my guess is, he'll probably be hard to reach at his house for serving. I can put in the other address for a secondary serving address. But not sure he'll be found there either.

If he avoids being served, or doesn't live there, what will happen?
 

quincy

Senior Member
I sent my demand of payment letter to his residential address more than a month ago, I saw that there are a couple of attempted delivery but he hasn't accepted it. The one sent to his PO Box was signed by another person (probably an employee for the mail box office) and returned in a few days. Not sure if he is trying to avoid the letter or not living there?

Given this situation, my guess is, he'll probably be hard to reach at his house for serving. I can put in the other address for a secondary serving address. But not sure he'll be found there either.

If he avoids being served, or doesn't live there, what will happen?
You can request of the court an alternative means of service, which is generally publication of notice.
 

zoelee

Active Member
You can request of the court an alternative means of service, which is generally publication of notice.
Ok, thanks. How can I find out the process of doing that? I browsed several websites and as usual, cannot find any specific info on this.
 

zoelee

Active Member
This explains the process of service in Texas (not just for family law):
https://texaslawhelp.org/article/how-serve-initial-court-papers-family-law
I found this option on this page: motion for subsituted service: https://texaslawhelp.org/sites/default/files/sub_service_motion_rev_08-2017.pdf

  1. Or by affixing a copy of the citation, with a copy of the petition attached, to the door of .

If I choose this option, should I use his residential property address I found on the county website?

I sent this address the demand letter, the letter deemed "unclaimed - Notice Left (No Authorized Recipient Available)." But if he's paying property tax for this house, this is definitely his house, right? A notice stuck on the door would make its way to him, right?
 

quincy

Senior Member
I found this option on this page: motion for subsituted service: https://texaslawhelp.org/sites/default/files/sub_service_motion_rev_08-2017.pdf

  1. Or by affixing a copy of the citation, with a copy of the petition attached, to the door of .

If I choose this option, should I use his residential property address I found on the county website?

I sent this address the demand letter, the letter deemed "unclaimed - Notice Left (No Authorized Recipient Available)." But if he's paying property tax for this house, this is definitely his house, right? A notice stuck on the door would make its way to him, right?
The house could be rented.

You need to find the correct address for personal service or track him down to hand him the papers. If this fails, then you can file a motion for substitute service.

Do you have a process server?
 

zoelee

Active Member
The house could be rented.

You need to find the correct address for personal service or track him down to hand him the papers. If this fails, then you can file a motion for substitute service.

Do you have a process server?
good question. This made me realized that he didn't live in the county I filed the case. So I have these two options:

  • Contact the Sheriff's Department or Constable's Office in the County where the defendant may be served and ask them to conduct service (the agency that conducts service of process may differ by county) or
  • Hire an authorized private process server.
I'm sure I need to pay the private process server. But with option 1, is there fee required? How easy is it to "ask them to conduct the service"?
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
good question. This made me realized that he didn't live in the county I filed the case. So I have these two options:

  • Contact the Sheriff's Department or Constable's Office in the County where the defendant may be served and ask them to conduct service (the agency that conducts service of process may differ by county) or
  • Hire an authorized private process server.
I'm sure I need to pay the private process server. But with option 1, is there fee required? How easy is it to "ask them to conduct the service"?
Why did you file in a county that is not that of the defendant's residence?
 

zoelee

Active Member
Why did you file in a county that is not that of the defendant's residence?
it's where the rental property is. plus they have online filing... laziness?

but since my filing is rejected, I can actually file in his county. But again, even though it's his property, he might not live there like you suggested. His PO Box is also in the same county, but PO Box proves to be pretty much useless since his bz is bogus.
 

zoelee

Active Member
Fair enough. Filing in the county where the contract was to be performed is an appropriate choice.
OK, now I'm back to question on post #70. If I ask his county sheriff's department, or hire a private process server, I still have the address I cannot be positive that he lives at. Is it like, I tried both options, if no result, I request for "motion for substituted service"? Which is to leave the notice on the door of his residence? What if that fails as well?
 

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