How to Serve a Minor Defendant—

Frequently, I receive telephone calls from personal injury attorneys seeking assistance on how to effectuate service of process upon defendants that have died or are incapacitated. In those circumstances, a probate estate may be needed to be commenced and a fiduciary appointed to establish jurisdiction over the defendant. Imagine a situation in which the negligent driver of a car is a newly licensed 17 year old. In this situation, the driver and the owner are generally named as defendants in the lawsuit. Does a conservator or guardian need to be appointed on behalf of the minor defendant to effectuate service of the lawsuit?

Thankfully, the answer is no. There is no need to commence a probate estate and appoint a fiduciary for a minor defendant.

Michigan Court Rule 2.105(B)(2) sets forth the manner in which a lawsuit may be served upon an individual who is a minor. Quite simply, the Summons and Complaint may be served “on a person having care and control of the minor and with whom he or she resides.”  

That is it.  

No guardian ad litem.  

No Conservator.

No Guardian.

No estate needed.  

No need to even bother serving the minor defendant. 

Pretty simple…