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Process Service Blog

A blog about private service of process and other service of process issues written by Middle Tennessee- Nashville private process server Brad Holton of Holton Services.  Call (615)499-6522 to set up service.

Does a defendant have a right to refuse service of process in Tennessee tendered by hand in person?

bradley holton

Sometimes a process server will make a positive ID on a defendant through an open window or glass door and then have the experience of said person (or anyone else inside the dwelling) refusing to answer the door so that we can effectuate valid court stamped service of process. So the question is does a defendant in Tennessee have a right to refuse service or process. The answer unequivocally by our attorney General of the State of Tennessee is No. Read the opinion here.…/attorn…/documents/ops/2001/op01-148.pdf "There is no right to refuse service of process. “The avoidance of authorized service o f proper process by a wilful act or refusal to act on the part of the defendant would create an intolerable e situation and should not be permitted.” A person cannot prevent a court from obtaining jurisdiction by refusing service of process that is tendered by hand. Where a defendant is in close proximity to a process server under suc h circumstances that a reasonable person would be convinced that personal service of a summons is being attempted, the service is complete even though the defendant refuses physically to accept the summons . Nielsen v. Braland , 264 Minn. 481, 119 N.W.2d 737 (1963). In Nielsen, the court noted that the summons had been left in a place easily accessible to the person being served . Under the circumstances, his refusal to pick it up or to accept it did not prevent service from being completed. "