Finding a Person or Business
You need to find the person or business you are suing in order to serve them. You also need to find the person or business if you win your court case and want to collect money.
The court will not find the person or business you are suing for you. Read on to find out different ways to find a person or business.
How can I find a person?
Directory Assistance: You can call 411 to see if there is a public listing. On the Internet, you can use directory or search sites such as www.smartpages.com and www.google.com. Enter the Defendant’s name, address, or telephone number to see what information is available.
Reverse Telephone Directory: Reverse telephone directories are often available at public libraries and online at sites like www.anywho.com and www.whitepages.com. In a reverse directory, you can look up a telephone number to get the name of the account holder and address if the number is listed.
U.S. Postal Service: If the person you are looking for has moved, consider finding them through the U.S. Postal Service. To do this, send a letter to their last known address and write the words: “Return Service Requested.” If the person filed a change of address with the post office, you may get the letter back with their new address.
If the person you are suing has a P.O. Box, you can get a form from the post office called Request for Change or Box Holder Information Needed for Service of Legal Process. Complete the form and include your file number. File the completed form with the post office.
Private Investigator: You can hire a private investigator to find the person you are suing. This can cost a lot of money.
The Tax Assessor’s Office can give you the property owner’s name if you provide them with the address for property located in the County of Los Angeles. To get this information, you can go in person or call them.
How can I find a business?
The Los Angeles City Hall Tax & Permit Office can give you the business owner’s name and address for a licensed business in the City of Los Angeles. You can go in person or ask for the information by mail. Fees may apply.
Fictitious Business Names
If the business filed a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder's Office, you can get a copy. This will provide you with the owner’s name and address for a business in the County of Los Angeles. You can go in person or ask for the information by mail.
Corporation, Limited Liability Company, or Limited Partnership
The Secretary of State’s Office can give you the name of the party (referred to as the Agent for Service of Process) who can be served on behalf of a corporation, limited liability company, or limited partnership. (See Serving a Corporation.)
The information is available to you online.
Contact us for more information or speak with one of our counselors at (800) 593-8222. If you live outside of Southern California, call us at (213) 974-9759.
Updated April 27, 2012
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