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Publication of Summons

Publish a Notification in the Newspaper When You Can't Find the Other Party

When filing a lawsuit, you are required to serve the other party with your summons and complaint, to notify them of the lawsuit. If the other party cannot be located, you will have to ask the court for permission to publish the summons in the newspaper. Publication of Summons, as set forth in Code of Civil Procedure section 415.50, is considered a method of last resort. The court can only approve your request for an Order for Publication of Summons if you show that the other party cannot be served in any other manner. You will need to prove to the court that you have made exhaustive attempts to locate the other party.


There is no Judicial Council form for this procedure. Instead, the relevant document must be typed on 28-line pleading paper. Customizable templates may be downloaded from these links:

Click below to download this guide, with step-by-step instructions and sample forms:

 Service by Publication of Summons in a Civil Case, Step by Step