U.S.D.C. SERVICE OF PROCESS - SERVICE OF A SUMMONS.

U.S.D.C. Service of process is the procedure by which a party to a lawsuit gives an appropriate notice of initial legal action to another party (such as a defendant), court, or administrative body in an effort to exercise jurisdiction over that person so as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body, or other tribunal.

When we personally serve a defendant with your U.S.D.C. Summons, this officially gives notice of court documents (called "process") to the person to be served.

Each Federal jurisdiction has similar rules regarding the appropriate service of process. However, many laws revert back to the state law where service is to be made. We generally take direction from the Attorney who issued the summons as to what rule of law we should follow to serve the defendant. Typically, a summons and other related documents must be served upon the defendant personally, or in some cases upon another person of suitable age and discretion at the person's residence or place of business or employment. When a defendant cannot be located in a particular jurisdiction we will investigate the defendant’s whereabouts and work closely with you to assure we are ahead of the 90-day deadline to serve the defendant with your USDC Summons.

Proper U.S.D.C. service of process initially establishes personal jurisdiction of the Federal court over the person served.

Service of process in cases filed in the United States district courts are governed by Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

FEDERAL (U.S.D.C.) RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

U.S.D.C. civil procedure is the body of law that sets out the rules and standards that courts follow when adjudicating civil lawsuits (as opposed to procedures in criminal law matters). These rules govern how a lawsuit or case may be commenced, what kind of service of process (if any) is required, the types of pleadings or statements of case, motions or applications, and orders allowed in civil cases, the timing and manner of depositions and discovery or disclosure, the conduct of trials, the process for judgment, various available remedies, and how the courts and clerks must function.

U.S.D.C. FEDERAL COURT JURISDICTION

Jurisdiction (from the Latin ius, iuris meaning "law" and dicere meaning "to speak") is the practical authority granted to a legal body to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility.

Colloquially it is used to refer to the geographical area to which such authority applies. The legal term refers only to the granted authority, not to a geographical area. Jurisdiction draws its substance from public international law, conflict of laws, constitutional law, and the powers of the executive and legislative branches of government to allocate resources to best serve the needs of its native society.

LONG ARM JURISDICTION

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Rule 4(k) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for where service of a summons outside the district will provide personal jurisdiction over a party.

(k) Territorial Limits of Effective Service.

(1) In General. Serving a summons or filing a waiver of service establishes personal jurisdiction over a defendant:

(A) who is subject to the jurisdiction of a court of general jurisdiction in the state where the district court is located;

(B) who is a party joined under Rule 14 or 19 and is served within a judicial district of the United States and not more than 100 miles from where the summons was issued; or

(C) when authorized by a federal statute.

(2) Federal Claim Outside State-Court Jurisdiction. For a claim that arises under federal law, serving a summons or filing a waiver of service establishes personal jurisdiction over a defendant if:

(A) the defendant is not subject to jurisdiction in any state's courts of general jurisdiction; and

(B) exercising jurisdiction is consistent with the United States Constitution and laws

U.S.D.C. Federal Court Service of Process of a Summons
Methods of U.S.D.C. Service of Process on Individuals and Entities by State:

ALABAMA

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(c) provides for either personal service or residence service. If a written request is filed with clerk, Rule 4.1(c) allows service by certified mail, restricted delivery.

ALASKA

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(d)(1) provides for either personal service or residence service. In addition, Rule 4(h) allows for service by certified mail, restricted delivery.

ARIZONA

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4.1(d) provides for either waiver of service, personal service, or residence service.

ARKANSAS

Court Rules, Rule 4(d) provides for either personal service or residence service. In addition, Rule 4(d)(8)(A) allows for service by certified mail, restricted delivery. Further, Rule 4(d)(8)(B) allows for service by first-class mail postage prepaid, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons and complaint, and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to sender. If no acknowledgment is received within 20 days, must attempt personal service.

CALIFORNIA

Code of Civil Procedure, § 415.10 provides for personal service. § 415.20 provides for residence or office service. § 415.30 provides for service by first-class mail postage prepaid, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons and complaint, and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to sender. If no acknowledgment is received within 20 days, must attempt personal service.

COLORADO

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(e) allows for personal or residence service.

CONNECTICUT

General Statutes § 52-57 allows for personal or residence service.

DELAWARE

Court of Common Pleas Civil Rules, Rule 4(f) provides for personal or residence service.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Superior Court - Civil Procedure Rule 4(c)(2) allows for personal or residence service. In addition, Rule 4(c)(4) allows for service by first-class mail postage prepaid, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons and complaint, and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to sender. If no acknowledgment is received within 20 days, must attempt personal service. Rule 4(c)(3) allows service by registered or certified mail.

FLORIDA

Florida Statutes, 48.031 allows for personal or residence service.

GEORGIA

Georgia Code § 9-11-4 allows for either waiver of service, personal or residence service.

GUAM

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(d) allows for personal or residence service.

HAWAII

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(d) allows for personal or residence service.

IDAHO

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(d)(2) allows for personal or residence service.

ILLINOIS

Illinois Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 5/2-203 allows for personal or residence service.

INDIANA

Rules of Trial Procedure, Rule 4.1(A) allows for personal, residence, or registered or certified mail service.

IOWA

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 56.1 allows for personal or residence service.

KANSAS

Code of Civil Procedure, § 60-303(d) allows for personal or residence service. In addition, § 60-303(c) allows for certified mail, restricted delivery, or other personal delivery service.

KENTUCKY

Rules of Civil Procedure, 4.04 allows for personal or residence service.

LOUISIANA

Code of Civil Procedure, Article 1232 allows for personal service. Article 1234 allows for residence service.

MAINE

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(d) allows for personal or residence service. In addition, Rule 4(c)(1) allows for service by first-class mail, postage prepaid, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons and complaint, and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to sender. If no acknowledgment is received within 20 days, must attempt personal service.

MARYLAND

Rule 2-121(a) allows for either personal service, residence service, or certified mail, restricted delivery service.

MASSACHUSETTS

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(d) allows for personal or residence service. Service on state government, county, town, or political subdivision can be made by registered or certified mail.

MICHIGAN

Court Rules 2.105(A) allows for either personal, registered mail, or certified mail, restricted delivery service.

MISSISSIPPI

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(d) allows for personal or residence service. In addition, Rule 4(c)(3) allows for service by first-class mail, postage prepaid, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons and complaint, and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to sender. If no acknowledgment is received within 20 days, must attempt personal service.

MINNESOTA

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4.03 allows for personal or residence service. In addition, Rule 4.05 allows for service by first-class mail, postage prepaid, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons and complaint, and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to sender. If no acknowledgment is received within 20 days, must attempt personal service.

MISSOURI

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 54.13 allows for personal or residence service. In addition, Rule 54.16 allows for service by first class mail, postage prepared, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons and complaint and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to sender. If no acknowledgment is received within 20 days, must attempt personal service.

MONTANA

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4D allows for personal service. In addition, Rule 4D allows for service by first-class mail, postage prepaid, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons and complaint, and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to sender. If no acknowledgment is received within 20 days, must attempt personal service.

NEBRASKA

Nebraska Revised Statutes § 25-505.01 allows for either personal service, residence service, or certified mail service.

NEVADA

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(d) allows for personal or residence service.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

New Hampshire Revised Statutes, § 510:2 allows for personal or residence service.

NEW JERSEY

Civil Practice Rules, Rule 4:4-4(a)(1) allows for personal or residence service. In addition, Rule 4:4-4(c) allows for either registered, certified, or ordinary mail service, which is effective only if the party serves answers or otherwise appears in response to the lawsuit.

NEW MEXICO

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 1-004(F) allows for personal or residence service. In addition, Rule 1-004(E) allows for service by first-class mail, postage prepaid, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons and complaint, and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to sender. If no acknowledgment is received within 20 days, must attempt personal service.

NEW YORK

Civil Practice Law and Rules, § 308 allows for personal or residence service. In addition, § 312-a allows for service by first-class mail, postage prepaid, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons and complaint, and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to sender. If no acknowledgment is received within 20 days, must attempt personal service.

NORTH CAROLINA

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(j)(1) allows for either personal, residence, or registered or certified mail, restricted delivery service.

NORTH DAKOTA

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(d) allows for either personal, residence, or registered or certified mail, restricted delivery, or other personal delivery service.

OHIO

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4.1 allows for either personal, residence, or certified, or express mail service.

OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma Statutes, Title 12 § 2004(C) allows for personal residence service or certified mail, restricted delivery service.

OREGON

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 7(D)(2) allows for either personal, residence, office, or registered or certified mail service.

PENNSYLVANIA

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 402 allows for either personal, residence, or office service.

PUERTO RICO

Puerto Rico Laws, Title 32, App. III, Rule 4.4 allows for personal service.

RHODE ISLAND

Superior Court Civil Rules, Rule 4(e) provides for personal or residence service if there is no waiver of service.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(d) allows for either personal, residence, or registered or certified mail, restricted delivery service.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 15-6-4(d) allows for personal service. In addition, Rule 15-6-4(i) allows for service by first-class mail, postage prepaid, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons and complaint, and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to sender. If no acknowledgment is received within 20 days, must attempt personal service.

TENNESSEE

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4.04 allows for personal, residence, or registered or certified mail service.

TEXAS

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 106 allows for personal, or registered or certified mail service.

UTAH

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(e) allows for personal or residence service.

VIRGINIA

Virginia Code § 8.01-296 allows for personal or residence service.

VERMONT

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(d) allows for personal or residence service if there is no waiver of service.

VIRGIN ISLANDS

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(d) allows for personal or residence service if there is no waiver of service.

WASHINGTON

Superior Court Rules, Rule 4(d) allows for personal or residence service.

WEST VIRGINIA

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(d) allows for either personal or residence service. If personal service is unsuccessful, registered or certified mail, restricted delivery service is allowed. If registered or certified mail service is unsuccessful, service may be made by first-class mail, postage prepaid, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons and complaint, and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to sender. If no acknowledgment is received within 20 days, must again attempt personal service.

WISCONSIN

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 801.11 allows for personal service. If personal service is unsuccessful, residence service is allowed.

WYOMING

Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(d) allows for personal or residence service.