Serving Agents That Can't Be Found

Yesterday's post discussed how to effect service on a foreign corporation.  Two of three statutory options relate to service on an agent of the corporation.  What if an agent cannot be found?  Mirabile dictu!  The GCL provides answers when:

  • The agent designated for the service of process is a natural person and cannot be found with due diligence at the address stated in the designation;
  • The agent is a corporation and no person can be found with due diligence to whom the delivery authorized by Section 2110 may be made for the purpose of delivery to the corporate agent;
  • The agent designated is no longer authorized to act; or
  • No agent has been designated and if no one of the officers or agents of the corporation specified in Section 2110 can be found after diligent search and it is so shown by affidavit to the satisfaction of the court.

Cal. Corp. Code § 2111(a).  In these cases, the statute authorizes a court to order that service be made by personal delivery to the Secretary of State or to an assistant or deputy secretary of state.   Service in this manner is deemed complete on the 10th day after delivery of the process to the Secretary of State.  The statute provides additional details on the number of copies to be delivered and what the Secretary of State is to do with the copies.