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Lawyer Tips: Serving the Summons and Avoiding Dismissal

Service of a Summons is an essential part of a personal injury lawsuit starting off on the right foot. Supreme Court Rule 103(b) allows a court to dismiss the case if the plaintiff does not exercise reasonable diligence to secure the service of summons. This means that an attorney who gets a “return not found” or has the service letter bounce back must follow up with legitimate attempts to get the summons served. Often, a skip chaser or a special process service can help and affect valid service. However, if you let the suit languish without attempting to serve summons for an unreasonable period there may be no remedy.