Fell at a Nail Shop...

by Linda
(Jackson, Mississippi)

I was getting up from the pedicure bowl at a nail shop and slipped and fell on a wet substance. As soon as I fell the technician begin to wipe up the substance and no one came to help me up. They were not concerned, even though I had some injuries.

I hired a personal injury attorney, however they informed me after many attempts that the defendants refused to be served, telling the process server that they had the wrong person. The business is still in operation. What can be done if the person refuses to be served? There must be a way around this? Thanks.

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ANSWER for "Fell at a Nail Shop...":

Linda (Jackson, Mississippi):

Under Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure Article 4 subsection (d), If you have exercised "due diligence" in trying to serve the defendant you can use substitute service.

Under subsection (d) you may be permitted to leave a copy of the lawsuit at the nail salon. In this case it wouldn't matter if the owner was present to accept service or not. Under subsection (d) you would be able to leave the summons (lawsuit) with the receptionist. The law states:

"If service under sub paragraph (1)(A) of this subdivision cannot be made with reasonable diligence, by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint at the defendant's usual place of abode with the defendant's spouse or some other person of the defendant's family above the age of sixteen years who is willing to receive service, and by thereafter mailing a copy of the summons and complaint (by first class mail, postage prepaid) to the person to be served at the place where a copy of the summons and of the complaint were left. Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete on the 10th day after such mailing."

To review the State of Mississippi's Rules of Civil Procedure Civil Procedure regarding the service of a summons, see the following document:

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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