Most predicate notices, as well as the petition and notice of petition, must be served in a specific way. You cannot serve the papers yourself. Except for the notice to cure, notices and court papers must be served by someone who is over 18 and who is not a party to the case. They must be served on the occupant by personal, substitute, or conspicuous service.
- Personal service — Personal delivery means the court papers are handed to the tenant. You must attempt personal delivery first.
- Substitute service — means the papers are handed to a person of appropriate age who lives or works in the home, and a copy is mailed to the tenant by certified and regular mail.
- Conspicuous service — can be done only after personal service is attempted. With conspicuous service the papers are either taped to or slid under the door and mailed to the tenant by certified and regular mail. There are no specific service requirements for notices to cure other than that they must be in writing. However, if service is done by mail, you must add five days from the date of mailing to the 10 day time period to cure.
Note: Not serving these documents or serving them improperly can get your case dismissed by the court. You can buy the blank forms (Blumberg legal forms) at a stationery store. The forms will come in a packet with everything that you need. Licensed process servers advertise in the phone book and on the internet, and the Housing Court Help Center provides a list.