Service by Publication Law and Legal Definition

Service by publication refers to the constructional communication of the notice, pleadings or documents by publishing the same. When the addressee cannot be located at his/her known address, service is made by publishing the same in newspapers having general circulation in that area.

The following is an example of a case law on service by publication:

Service by publication is available in suits involving claims which are historically equitable involving either property under the control of the court or marital status which is under the control of the court. Additionally, service by publication may be available, regardless of whether the claim is legal or equitable, in suits where the defendant avoids service of process. In either case, when the residence of the defendant is known, a plaintiff must first attempt service of process by one of the methods of service other than publication. [Beasley v. United States, 162 F.R.D. 700 (D. Ala. 1995)].