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Can you refuse to accept documents from a process server?

Region: Ontario Answer # 3013

You can refuse to accept documents from a process server. However, in most cases, if you do refuse to accept the documents, the process server is legally allowed to leave them next to you or at your feet. Whether you accept the documents or not, you are considered to be served. Refusing to accept documents does not stop a lawsuit against you from proceeding.

Do you personally have to accept documents?

If someone does not accept the documents being served, and repeated attempts have been made by the process server, the party trying to serve the documents may bring a motion in court for an order allowing them to use an alternative or substitute method of service.

The process server must follow the provincial rules and regulations including acceptable methods of service for different types of cases. For example, to serve a claim in a small claims lawsuit, the process server may be allowed to hand the legal documents to someone in the same household or business, mail them to the party’s employer, or post the claim on the door of the party’s residence .

In some cases, if it can be proven that a person deliberately avoided being served after every acceptable method of service was used, legal action may be taken against them.


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