Service of Process Substitute Law and Legal Definition

Service of process substitute means any method of service of process or summons prescribed under a statute other than by personal service. Service of process substitute is also called as substituted service. Substituted service includes service by affixture, posted service, publication in newspaper and service on an alternative individual who is statutorily authorized. Under substituted service if a defendant is not at home then the summons will be served to any person at the defendant's home who is old enough to understand the responsibility of accepting service.

Where a substituted service is effected by affixing the summons and complaint to the entrance of the defendant's home or place of business a copy of the papers will be mailed to such individual at his/her last known address. This method is called the nail and mail service. Sometimes services are also effected by mailing the papers to the defendant's actual address by registered post. Generally, substituted service is adopted only after diligent efforts to effect personal service have failed. While some states permit substituted service at any time or where a single attempt to find the defendant and serve the papers personally is a failure.