The law states that when you begin a lawsuit, you must formally notify the person you are bringing a claim against. The legal way to formally give notice is to "serve" the other side the copies of the legal papers you filed with the court. This is known as "service of process."
Service of process means that the other side receives copies of all the paperwork you have filed with the court. The lawsuit paperwork must be third by a third party.
The "server" or "process server" can be:
The server or process server MUST:
There are several ways that you can serve the other side, but not all the types of service are allowed in some cases or at some stages of a case. You must determine what types of service is allowed by your jurisdiction. The main types of service are:
In all cases, you must notify the court that the other side was properly served after you have served them. The process server must fill out and sign the proof of service form detailing how the other side was served, type of service used, what time they were served, and to whom the documents were served. Make a copy of the proof of service and take the copy and the original to your county clerk.
If you are initiating a lawsuit, make sure that you closely follow the counsel of your attorney. Your attorney should arrange for the other side to be properly served.
There are many local agencies that specialize in process serving for a small fee. If you already have an attorney handling your case, the service of process would usually be included in the representation.
Last Modified: 06-16-2014 10:14 AM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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