Motion for Substituted Service Law and Legal Definition

Motion for substitute service refers to a request asking a judge to issue an order for substituted service. The motion explains that service was attempted, but failed, and describes the method of service requested to the court.

There are State specific rules regarding how and when a motion for substituted service can be filed. In Texas, the motion should be supported by an affidavit which gives details of the manner in which service was attempted, the dates on which it was attempted etc.

Relevant law in Texas on the subject

Tex. R. Civ. P. 106 Method of Service

(a) Unless the citation or an order of the court otherwise directs, the citation shall be served by any person authorized by Rule 103 by

(1) delivering to the defendant, in person, a true copy of the citation with the date of delivery endorsed thereon with a copy of the petition attached thereto, or

(2) mailing to the defendant by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a true copy of the citation with a copy of the petition attached thereto.

(b) Upon motion supported by affidavit stating the location of the defendant's usual place of business or usual place of abode or other place where the defendant can probably be found and stating specifically the facts showing that service has been attempted under either (a)(1) or (a)(2) at the location named in such affidavit but has not been successful, the court may authorize service

(1) by leaving a true copy of the citation, with a copy of the petition attached, with anyone over sixteen years of age at the location specified in such affidavit, or (2) in any other manner that the affidavit or other evidence before the court shows will be reasonably effective to give the defendant notice of the suit.