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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Who's that knocking on your door?

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Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
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A new state law exempts process servers from trespassing laws.

In Michigan, you can no longer invoke trespassing laws to avoid being served court papers at your door.

At the end of 2013, a new law took effect to exempt process servers from trespassing laws.

Michigan Sen. Rick Jones sponsored the legislation.    He says the goal is to increase safety for process servers who sometimes are confronted with threats of violence.

“They have the right to go from the street to the front door and back to the street, and they are not violating any trespassing law,” says Jones. “So if somebody acts in a violent manner, they will be violating the law.”

Jones says the law does not require anyone to open the door. He says if an person cannot be served after several tries, the judge may authorize service by other means including certified mail or by taping the documents to the door.

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