How Can You Serve Someone If You Don-39t Know the Defendant-39s Address_

How Can You Serve Someone If You Don’t Know the Defendant’s Address?

If you have a civil case against someone and they cannot be found, it can be difficult to move forward with the case. However, there are ways to find a missing person for civil lawsuit proceedings. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the methods that you can use to locate the defendant’s address in your case. We will also talk about what to do if you cannot find them after using these methods.

Before a court can have jurisdiction over a defendant, the plaintiff must serve them with legal documents indicating that legal action against them is pending.

The preferred method of service is through process servers. A process server presents the legal documents to the defendant in person. This procedure leaves the judge with little dispute as to whether the individual was served.

In regular situations, process servers provide lawyers or law firms with cost-effective and efficient services every day. When a named defendant in a lawsuit goes missing, whether they are proven to be evading service or gone from a last known address, these are specialists who can provide skills and expertise to ensure that valid, timely service is performed and the case can proceed.

However, even with the help of process servers, you still need to supply the defendant’s address. Here are a few methods for determining the address of the missing defendant.

Check with the Local Police Department or Courthouse

To find a missing defendant for civil lawsuit proceedings, check with the local police department. The police may have some information on the person you are looking for. They may also be able to help you locate the person. 

Another method you can use to find a missing person for civil lawsuit proceedings is to check with the local courthouse. The courthouse will have records of all cases that have been filed in the area. You can also search for the name of the person you are looking for in the court records. This may give you some information on where they live or work.

Do a Social Media Search for the Defendant’s Address

Use social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn to find a person’s contact information. A lot of people share their address, phone number, and other contact details on social media.

If the defendant is evading you, they may have left a digital trail. They might have posted a hint of their current location on social media. You can use any information as a starting point in finding the defendant.

Contact Family, Friends, and Employer to Know the Defendant’s Address

React out to family or friends and request the defendant’s basic contact information. Even if you only acquire limited information through this approach, such as the city and state where the defendant is now residing, one of the other strategies might help you. Although many people dislike being served, they might be interested in working with you to complete a legal process.

If all else fails, call their employer. They likely have the defendant’s address on file.

Use Searchbug’s People Search Tool

With Searchbug’s People Search tool, you can quickly get the most up-to-date contact information for a person. If available, last known contact information such as an address, phone number, and email address is included in the basic people search results.

With the premium search, you may have access to your entire name and known aliases, current address, multi-year address history with reported dates, all known phone numbers with line type (wireless or landline), date of birth, and names of relatives.

You can search for a phone number, and email address, or a name and part of an address (full address, city, or state). There is no need for a subscription. You only pay if you get any information.

Know Their Phone Number? Use Searchbug’s Reverse Phone Lookup Service

It appears to be rather simple to locate a person using even the tiniest bit of information you have at this point. If you know the defendant’s phone number, there is a way to find out the defendant’s address.

Use Searchbug’s Reverse Phone Lookup tool. With a phone number, you can search for the most recent name and address. An email address may even be included in the report.

How Can You Serve Someone If You Don't Know the Defendant's Address

Searchbug Skip Trace

Skip tracing is a method of locating a difficult-to-find person in order to serve them with legal documents. The result of this process is usually more fruitful compared to basic searches, regardless of how long it has been since they were last seen or whether they simply do not want anyone to know where they are. Searchbug has a Skip Trace service you can use to locate the defendant’s address.

Typically, this technique combines the best of the online and offline methods. It incorporates sources of information such as the subject’s close colleagues, neighbors, associated groups, and other people who can direct them to the defendant.

Calling the closest relatives found through a database search can disclose a handful of information since family members can provide the subject’s current location and contact information. Neighbors can also provide information as to when the subject is most likely to be found at their home if they are on vacation, and sometimes even supply a current address or phone number.

In skip tracing, it may help to build a well-rounded picture of an individual using informational databases, credit headers, and even social media accounts. These elements may lead to their most recent whereabouts.

Informational databases frequently contain the most up-to-date information about the subject, such as their most recent known address and other possible related locations. Credit headers disclose information about the subject’s most recent credit applications. A social media scan can offer images and other information that skip tracers parse and connect to help identify them.

For Professional Skip Trace, Searchbug works with numerous private data suppliers and for access to their data. Therefore, we can take advantage of economies of scale and provide our customers with specialized data about the defendant without any set up fees, subscription fees, or monthly minimums.

Look Into Property Records

Look into property records if you know the person you’re trying to reach has property in a specific jurisdiction. This information, which is provided by name and address, can be searched for you at the county tax assessor’s office. The county recorder’s office may also be able to help you.

Hire a Private Investigator

If you cannot find the missing person using these methods, you may need to hire a private investigator. A private investigator can help you find the person and gather information on their whereabouts.

What if You Still Can’t Find the Defendant’s Address?

If you are unable to locate the missing person after using these methods, you may need to file a motion with the court asking for permission to serve them by publication. This means that the court will allow you to publish a notice in the newspaper asking the person to come forward.

If you are still unable to find the missing person, you may need to file a motion with the court asking for permission to have them declared a default. This means that the case will proceed without them.


If you are having trouble finding a missing person for civil lawsuit proceedings, there are many resources available to help you. The courthouse, police department, private data firms, and investigators are all sources of information that can help you locate the person. If you are unable to find them after using these methods, you may need to file a motion with the court asking for permission to serve them by publication or declare them a default.

You can also rely on Searchbug services to determine the address of the defendant. Tools like People Search, Reverse Phone Lookup, and Skip Trace are at your fingertips. By following these methods, you can find a missing person for civil lawsuit proceedings.

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Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that the information in this blog post was correct at the time it was written and published. Individual circumstances may differ. Moreover, the law may have changed since this article was published. As a result, this post does not intend to provide legal advice or to predict a specific outcome. Readers considering legal action should obtain advice from a lawyer to learn about current laws and how they may affect their case.