General Litigation Topics

Service of Process is the Act of Delivering a Lawsuit to a Person or Entity Ordering that Person or Entity to Appear in Court on a Date and Time to Answer the Claim of a Creditor

Due process requires that every person be given notice and an opportunity to be heard. There are several methods of accomplishing service of process

Personal Service

By any person over the age of eighteen years who is “not a party to the action”, (for example, someone who is appearing as a witness - a relative or employee would most likely be considered a “party to the action”). A professional process server may be employed. The court does not recommend one, but they may be found listed in the yellow pages of the telephone directory under “process serving”. The lawsuit may be sent to the sheriff’s department in the area where the defendant lives or works, who will have it served by a deputy.

Substituted Service

This method allows service of process upon an individual other than the defendant. In order to have valid service with this method, the person effecting service of process must leave a copy of the papers at the defendant’s residence, business, or usual mailing address (U.S. P.O. Boxes excluded) with a person over the age of 18 and who appears to be in charge at that moment. The person effecting service should obtain the name of the person being served and explain the documents. Thereafter, the person effecting service must mail another copy of the same documents served by regular first class mail, postage prepaid, to the defendant at the same address which the documents were served at. Substituted service is not complete until 10 days after the copy of the claim was mailed. A proof of service must be filed with the court clerk and must indicate the name of the person served.