Waiting period for service

The postal service has attempted to serve my STBX three times. They have informed me that they will wait 15 days before returning the mail to me. Do I have to wait 15 days or can they just return the mail to me?

If the Sheriff serves him, how many times does the Sheriff’s office need to attempt before I can move on to Service by Publication?

How long must the publication remain in the paper before I can get a court date?

You may ask the USPS to return the item to you now.
I do not know how many attempt your local sheriff will make before they make a determination that they cannot effectuate service.
Service by publication can be effectuated by publishing the notice once a week for 3 successive weeks.

Can the public notification be posted in any local newspaper in his town or does it have to be a major newspaper?

Notice must be published in a newspaper that is qualified for legal advertising and circulated in the area where the person to be served is believed to be living by serving party, or if there is no reliable information concerning the location of the party, then in the county where the action is pending. You can read the full rule by looking in the NC Rules of Civil Procedure- Rule 4(j)(1). http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/statutes

Once the 3 weeks for service by publication is complete, how long do I have to wait before going to court? Is it similar to service by certified mail, the 30 waiting period?

According to the NC Civil Procedures, it sounds like I can deliver the summons to my STBX in person. Is that correct?

Rule 4j reads…

“By delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the natural person or by leaving copies thereof at the defendant’s dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein.”

A party cannot effectuate service on another party, a sheriff would have to deliver the summons and complaint.
Once you have served the defendant via publication you will need to file an affidavit of service, and then set a hearing for the divorce. You must send notice to the defendant 10 days prior to the hearing.

Is there a minimum number of times the Sherriff must attempt to serve the individual? How long must he attempt, ie 3 times over 3 weeks, before I can move on to the next step?

You will need to ask your sheriff’s office how many attempts they make before rendering the documents undeliverable.

I now have to post a publication in the newspaper for my absolute divorce. I am not sure of what to put in the following fields:

What is “Title of Action” and “relief sought”? I am not sure what to put in the “pleading not later than” field, is this end of the 3 weeks I have to wait?

In the Court of General Justice, District Court Division

[color=#FF0040][ Title of Action][/color] To: [ Person to be served]:

Take notice that a pleading seeking relief against you has been filed in the above entitled action. The nature of the relief sough is as follows [color=#FF0040][__________________][/color].
You are required to make a defense to such pleading not later than [color=#FF0040][ _________] [/color], and upon your failure to do so the party seeking service against you will apply to the court for the relief sought.

Service by publication increases the standard waiting period from thirty to forty days (measured from the date of the first such newspaper notice).

It would look something like this: Take notice that a pleading seeking relief against you has been filed in the above action. The nature of the relief being sought is as follows: Plaintiff is seeking judgment of absolute divorce (this is the sample relief sought). You are required to make defense to such pleading no later than the _____ day of _________ 20__, which is 40 days from the first publication of this notice. Upon your failure to file a pleading by the above date, party seeking…etc.