I got an email from a viewer asking how to handle the problem of a yard with a big dog when you are trying to serve process. Here’s my response.
Regarding the dog problem…
The first thing is to know if the person you’re serving is a “friendly” or a “hostile”.
Most process service packs actually go to people who willingly accept the papers. For example, a person’s attorney may summons witnesses for his client simply because he wants to make sure they are properly notified of the court date. The witness may actually be eager to help his friend by testifying!
Other people are somewhat ambivalent about being severed. They will accept the papers and show up even though they would rather not hassle with getting a day off work, etc.
So, if your person is not dodging service, it’s as simple as giving them a call on the phone and let them know you’re there. Or when they come to the door to see why the dog is barking, simply explaining you have papers for them so they come to the fence to get the papers or they hold the dog for you to come up to them.
Of course, if you have a “hostile” witness who is skipped out or is otherwise dodging service, it’s a whole different story.
My preference in the situation you describe is to serve them at another location. This is a case where I might find out where they work, find their favorite bar, etc. I might even have to follow them when they (eventually) leave the house and try to serve them at a store or gas station.
I’ve never had the exact circumstance you’ve described, but there have been many (many!) times when the person hears the knock on the door, shuts off the TV and hides behind the couch pretending to not be at home. Slightly different circumstance, but same end result. Usually I’ll still try a few times to serve them like a normal person, but eventually I’ll have to get sneaky and maybe even use one of the tricks I teach on my DVD The Investigator’s Ultimate Guide to Process Serving.
Committed to your success,
P.S. – Don’t miss my special report titled… If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it on the home page of my blog.