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What Does it Mean to Quash Service?

Please note that the legal information presented on this page is intended only for those living in the state of Illinois.

This article offers an overview of what it means to quash service. 

The word "quash" is used to mean something is invalid. Quashing service refers to the process of filing a motion to tell the courts you believe there was invalid service of process in your case.

Below, we discuss when and how a person can make a request to quash service to help their court case.

When Is Service of Process Invalid?

When starting a new court case, the person starting the case must deliver the opposing party notice of the lawsuit. This notice is called a notice of summons (otherwise known as "being served"). A summons is typically delivered via a sheriff or U.S. Marshal, a special process server, or in some cases via certified mail.

A motion to quash service specifically states that a party to a court case was NOT properly served notice of the court case. The motion must be signed by a public notary.

For a motion to quash service to be considered, a person must be able to prove that:

  • They were NEVER properly served a notice of summons for the case
  • No one over the age of 13 was present at their residence when a summons was served; AND
  • They never filed an appearance for the case

How Can Quashing Service Be Useful?

A motion to quash service challenges the entire basis for a lawsuit. It is especially useful for those who were unaware there was a lawsuit against them because they were never served notice of the case.

Because of this, there is typically a highly sensitive window of time for a motion to quash service to be approved. Specifically, the motion to quash service must be the FIRST request made in your case since you learned that you were not properly served.

Additionally, requests to quash service can be made for administrative cases, such as for a parent involved in an administrative child support case.

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