If our process server is not able to personally deliver the eviction papers to the tenant after trying, we will consult with the landlord about using an alternative method of serving the papers to the tenant. Sometimes we suggest that a representative of the landlord try to serve the papers in the hope that the tenant will open the door for someone from the management. If this is not possible, we can file the lawsuit with the court and obtain a court order which permits the papers to be served on the tenant by mailing the documents by regular and certified mail along with posting a copy of the papers at the property. The papers must be posted and mailed before the response date.
If the papers are served by the post and mail method, the landlord is not entitled to a money judgment, unless the tenant files a counterclaim or takes other action that subjects them to the jurisdiction of the court in the eviction action. All that the landlord will receive is the order for the writ of restitution for the removal of the tenant from the rental unit.
The tenant still owes the rent and any attorney fees and court costs but the statute which authorizes posting and mailing provides that no money judgment for rent may be entered against the tenant unless the tenant is personally served with the lawsuit papers.
Please note that, due to the electronic filing and presentation required in King & Pierce County, there may be a delay in the process of a few days to get the order authorizing the alternative service.