Q&A: Notice publication requirements

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From CMG Worldwide Inc. of Indianapolis:

Q: We have a complaint filed in Hamilton County and have not been able to successfully serve a defendant, so we want to publish a public notice. However, the defendant resides in Mount Kisco, N.Y.

Must we publish in both The Times (Noblesville) and the appropriate Mount Kisco newspaper, or is one just supplemental? 

A: The Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure at Rule 4.13(C) says “the summons shall be published three times by the clerk or person making it, the first publication promptly and each two succeeding publications at least seven and not more than 14 days after the prior publication, in a newspaper authorized by law to publish notices, and published in the county where the complaint or action is filed, where the res is located, or where the defendant resides or where he was known last to reside.

“If no newspaper is published in the county, then the summons shall be published in the county in this state nearest thereto in which any such paper may be printed, or in a place specially ordered by the court. The person seeking the service or his attorney may designate any qualified newspaper, and if he fails to do so, the selection may be made by the clerk.”

The requirement would be publication in only one newspaper. The choice is yours as to Noblesville or Mount Kisco.

Having said that, I suggest you put it in both newspapers to eliminate the possibility of a later challenge by the defendant that the notice wasn’t proper. You could show that you went beyond the minimum in your attempt to serve notice.

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.

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