service by publication


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service by publication

n. serving a summons or other legal document in a lawsuit on a defendant by publishing the document in an advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation. Service by publication is used to give "constructive notice" to a defendant who is intentionally absent, in hiding, unknown (as a possible descendant of a former land owner), and only when allowed by a judge's order based on a sworn declaration of the inability to find the defendant after "due diligence" (trying hard). Service by publication is commonly used in a divorce action to serve a spouse who has disappeared without a leaving a forwarding address or to give notice to people who might have a right to object to a "quiet title" action to clear title to real property. (See: service, service of process, constructive notice)