Q: I filed a child support petition in 2020. The case was called last month 2021. I hired a process server through a company to serve the respondent at the last known address which is also his father’s address. His sister who also lives there signed for the papers and they were also mailed to that address. This is also the address he was served at earlier this year for another case we have open. He is now stating he doesn’t live there anymore and thus “wasn’t served correctly”. Question is was he served correctly? If not will the case be dismissed and I have to start from scratch? Or will I need to serve him at the new address? His lawyer is now requesting the order of default should be vacated. If that happens will he no longer be in arrears? Thank you for any help.
A: The Family Court Act allows service upon a respondent via delivery to a “person of suitable age & discretion” – assuming his sister was an adult at the time, she’d suffice. The burden would shift to him to prove with competent evidence he was not residing there at the time – as well as whether he had resided there at any time proximate to that time (as well as whether he changed his address with entities such as USPS, DMV, etc.). Schedule a consult with a Bronx Family Law attorney for a full assessment.