Served to wrong address?

Hello everyone;

My ex wife moved out of state and is trying to sue me for full custody of our son to pull him away from the only life he’s ever known to go live with strangers. Nice, huh?

Anyway – I moved earlier this year. We lived together in Wake county, where the divorce was filed. I moved to Orange County after the divorce, and now I’m in Alamance. She lives out of state in MA.

I’m pretty sure my ex has decided to serve me papers at my old Orange County address, and I think she’s filing with the Orange County courts, though I do not know. She sends me gloating emails to tell me she’s doing these things, but provides no details that would help me understand what’s going on.

So I’ve got a few questions about this!

  1. Is suing me in Orange County even valid if nobody involves lives there and nothing was ever filed there?

  2. Does the service count if my old apartment complex office or whomever’s living in my old apartment sign for it even though I don’t live there and haven’t lived there for months?

  3. Is there a way for me to look up the court cases and see if she’s trying to serve me? Near as I can tell, I can only look up things scheduled for court.

  4. Does it benefit me in nay particular way to make sure she has the correct address in some verifiable way (certified mail or whatever) so I can prove that I’m cooperative and potentially prove that the service was incorrect?


  1. North Carolina is the home state of the child, so she needs to file here, and the appropriate venue would be Alamance County as that is where you live with your son.

  2. No, apartment complex employees cannot accept service on your behalf. Their signature on the certified mail slip is not considered good service.

  3. If you think she has filed in Orange County, you can call the clerk of court and ask if there if they have a complaint for child custody filed under your name.

  4. You have no duty to help her serve you. She is the moving party and as such she can do the legwork to have you served either by certified mail, by sheriff, or you can agree to accept service by signing the form in front of a notary. If, and only if she has exhausted all means of locating your address she can serve you by publication in the newspaper (this requires additional forms, that are only available at the clerk of court).

Thank you so much :slight_smile: