With many years of experience conducting investigations in active litigation, we are extremely well-versed in the rules of filing and service. Industrious and creative, we know that quick action and clever ideas are often needed to track down hard-to-find defendants and witnesses.
A case we filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia had individual and company defendants in four different states.
We personally served the individuals and registered agents for the defendants who were within easy reach, and an affiliate investigator served a defendant living in New York without incident. A defendant purported to be in Illinois, however, proved to be somewhat elusive. The address that we were given for him actually belonged to his ex-wife. Believing that she might be a source to help us locate the defendant, our affiliate gave her the telephone number of our lead DC private investigator. The defendant subsequently called us from an Illinois mobile number to inquire about the complaint.
Our investigator, not knowing if the defendant was represented by counsel, declined to discuss the facts of the case but attempted to talk the defendant into accepting the documents voluntarily. The defendant refused and challenged our investigator to serve him if we could find him.
Using an investigative database to track the defendant’s mobile number, it took less than an hour to trace him to a home in the Boston suburbs. Engaging a local affiliate and having the summons and complaint mailed overnight from Illinois, we caught the defendant coming home from work the following evening. He attempted to avoid service again by claiming that he was the defendant’s roommate, but we served him anyway. Not realizing that the rules in this case allowed for service to a person of suitable age and discretion living at the defendant’s abode, the defendant unwittingly gave us all the information necessary to serve him the summons and complaint whether he actually admitted who he was or not.
With all the parties properly served, we completed affidavits of service and filed them with the court. As with all of our cases, the law firm that hired us never had to worry about the intricate details of filing and service.