Service of Process on Evasive Defendants in Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, evasive defendants are served pursuant to Rule 4.6, Puerto Rico Rules of Civil Procedure (“Rule 4.6”) provides as follows:

Service by edicts and publication 

(a) The court shall issue an order providing for a summons by publication when the person to be served is outside of Puerto Rico or if in Puerto Rico, cannot be located although pertinent attempts have been made to locate him/her, or when the person goes into hiding to avoid being served, or if it is a foreign corporation with no resident agent, and it is proved to the satisfaction of the court through an affidavit stating the steps taken, and said statement or sworn complaint filed states that justifies the granting of some relief against the person to be served or that said person is the proper party in the suit action.

Rule 4(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the methods by which service of process may be effected on an individual.  Rule 4(e) provides:

(e) Serving an Individual Within a Judicial District of the United States. Unless federal law provides otherwise, an individual—other than a minor, an incompetent person, or a person whose waiver has been filed—may be served in a judicial district of the United States by:

(1) following state law for serving a summons in an action brought in courts of general jurisdiction in the state where the district court is located or where service is made; or

(2) doing any of the following:

(A) delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally;

(B) leaving a copy of each at the individual’s dwelling or usual place of abode with someone of suitable age and discretion who resides there; or

(C) delivering a copy of each to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process.