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Selecting an Agent for Service of Process

for Your Homeowner Association

Written By Attorney Michael T. Chulak

All incorporated homeowner associations in California must select an Agent for Service of Process (Agent) when they are formed, but may change the Agent at any time. The Agent is the person who is actually served with a lawsuit should the association be named as a defendant. Many associations select a member of the association or the management company as the Agent. An HOA may not be its own Agent in California. We believe entities are best served by entrusting a law firm to protect their interests, and consequently, invite you to contact us regarding your association's requirement for an Agent.

There are significant disadvantages to having a member serve as Agent. If a plaintiff who files a lawsuit is nasty, he or she may select a time and place to serve a member of the association acting as agent so as to cause additional harm and / or embarrassment. We have seen situations where agents have been served with frivolous lawsuits under the following circumstances:

At his place of business when the agent was with a customer,
At a Rotary lunch,
While dining at her private club,
At his place of business in the presence of his staff,
At a Chamber of Commerce function,
Upon leaving church, and
At her home in the presence of her spouse and children.

While using the association's management company as agent may solve part of the problem, management companies may be replaced from time to time making it important that the California Secretary of State is provided updated information on a timely basis. More importantly, there are times when a management company may not respond to being served as agent for the association appropriately.

For a modest fee, we can accept service of any lawsuit filed in California, we can provide you with a brief explanation of the claims, and we can provide you with our recommendations. Please contact us if you would like to change Agents.

Call attorney Michael T. Chulak at 818-991-9019 or 800-565-2232 for a no cost initial consultation regarding any legal matter.

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