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The following information is for reference only and may not reflect correct information for your Court. This information can be found at CLICK HERE

Service of legal process:
The procedure by which a party to a lawsuit gives an appropriate/legal notice of starting legal action to another party (such as a respondant/defendant), court, or administrative body in an attempt to exercise jurisdiction over that person so as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body, or other tribunal.

Notice is furnished by delivering a set of court documents (called "process") to the person to be served.

Service:

Each Court jurisdiction has rules regarding the appropriate service of process. 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. In some cases, service of process may be effected through the mail as in some small claims court procedures. In exceptional cases, other forms of service may be authorized by procedural rules or court order, including service by publication when an individual cannot be located in a particular jurisdiction.

Proper service of process initially establishes personal jurisdiction of the court over the person served. If the defendant ignores further pleadings or fails to participate in the proceedings, then the court or administrative body may find the defendant in default and award relief to the claimant, petitioner or plaintiff. The defendant may contest the default in his or her home state. Service of process must be distinguished from service of subsequent documents (such as pleadings and motion papers) between the parties to litigation.

Service of process in cases filed in the United States district courts is governed by Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In England and Wales, the rules governing service of documents are contained within Part 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998. In Canada the rules vary from province to province and can be governed differently depending on what the type of case (i.e. family, small claims, criminal, etc.).

Service on a defendant who resides in a country outside the jurisdiction of the Court must comply with special procedures prescribed under the Hague Service Convention, if the recipient's country is a signatory. Service on defendants in many South American countries and some other countries is effected through the letter rogatory process. Where a defendant's whereabouts are unknown, the Court may permit service by publication, usually in a newspaper.

In the past, in many countries, people did not have the right to know that there were legal proceedings against them. In some cases, they would only find out when magistrates showed up with the sheriff and seized their property, sometimes throwing them into debtor's prison until their debts were paid. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution prohibit the federal and state governments from depriving any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Therefore, the process server is "serving" the recipient with notice of their constitutional right to due process of the law.

In ancient times, the service of a summons was considered a royal act that had serious consequences. It was a summons to come to the King's Court and to respond to the demand of a loyal subject.[citation needed] In ancient Persia, failure to respond to the King's summons meant a sentence of death.[citation needed] Today the penalty for ignoring a summons may be entry of a default money judgment that can subsequently be enforced.

Manner of service

Substituted service

When an individual party to be served is unavailable for personal service, many jurisdictions allow for substituted service. Substituted service allows the process server to leave service documents with another responsible individual, called a person of suitable age and discretion, such as a cohabiting adult or a teenager. Under the U.S. Federal Rules, substituted service may only be made at the abode or dwelling of the defendant. California, New York, Illinois, and many other United States jurisdictions require that in addition to substituted service, the documents be mailed to the recipient. Substituted service often requires a serving party show that ordinary service is impracticable, that due diligence has been made to attempt to make personal service by delivery, and that substituted service will reach the party and effect notice.

Another method of substituted service is "service by publication" also called "constructive service" in some jurisdictions. Service by publication is used to give "constructive notice" to a defendant who is intentionally absent, in hiding, or unknown (as a possible descendant of a former landowner), and only when allowed by a judge's order based on a sworn declaration of the inability to find the defendant after "due diligence" (trying hard).Service by publication is commonly used in a divorce action to serve a spouse who has disappeared without leaving a forwarding address. Service by publication usually involves placing the petition for divorce and the summons to a missing spouse in a local newspaper.

In divorce cases, most states that permit service by publication will require "due diligence" to locate the missing spouse to include: verifying with the post office that there is no forwarding address; contacting in writing all friends, relatives, and former employers of a spouse who may know his or her current address; checking all jails and prisons for any record of a spouse; and checking military records for a spouse.

In addition, in some jurisdictions, substituted service may be effected through motion and public notice, followed by sending the documents by certified mail.

Courts in at least two Canadian provincial jurisdictions have allowed for substituted service via Facebook.

Service by mail

Service by mail is permitted by most U.S. jurisdictions for service on defendants located in other U.S. states or foreign countries. Service by mail is not available if the country of destination has filed objections to service by mail pursuant to the multinational Hague Service Convention. In California, "Any person providing the [California Department of Motor Vehicles] with a mailing address shall … consent to receive service of process …".

Voluntary acceptance of service (United States)

As a substitute for personal service by a process server, some jurisdictions may allow voluntary acceptance of service, also called waiver of service. It means that the served party agrees to voluntarily acknowledge receipt of the complaint or petition without the need to engage a process server.

Acceptance or waiver of service is encouraged by some court systems, especially U.S. federal courts. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(d)(2), when a defendant refuses to waive service "without good cause", the defendant can be held liable for the cost of personal service.

However, in general, individual service by a process server is the best way to effect service of process, as it completely avoids having to litigate the collateral issue of whether the defendant actually had good cause (or not) to not waive service.[citation needed]

Personal service by process server

Personal service is service of process directly to the (or a) party named on the summons, complaint, or petition. In most lawsuits in the United States, personal service is required to prove service.[citation needed] Most states allow substituted service in almost all lawsuits unless a corporation, LLC, LLP, or other business entity is being served; in those cases, personal service must be achieved by serving (in hand) the documents to the "registered agent" of a business entity.[citation needed] Some states, e.g. Florida, do not require that the documents actually be handed to the individual. In California and most other states, the documents must be visible to the person being served, i.e., not in a sealed envelope.[citation needed] If the individual refuses to accept service, flees, closes the door, etc., and the individual has been positively identified as the person to be served, the documents may be "drop served" (placed as close to the individual as possible); this is considered a valid service.[citation needed] In the U.S., personal service of process has been the hallmark for initiating litigation for nearly 100 years, primarily because it guarantees actual notice to a defendant of a legal action against him or her.

Agent for acceptance of service

In some instances, delivery to an agent for acceptance of service or "registered agent" can substitute for personal service on the principal party to be served. The Registered Agent is a person or company authorized in advance to accept service on behalf of the served party. For example, most corporations are required by local law to maintain a local agent of record for acceptance of service in each jurisdiction where they actively conduct business with the public. The identity of the agent for service can usually be ascertained by searching company filings with appropriate state corporate records or business registration agencies (often the business entity division of a state's secretary of state. Generally, these business registration records are searchable by the public on the Secretary of State's website.

In the UK an agent for acceptance of service is generally known as a process agent and is a contractual relationship rather than a statutory one.

Return of service

Once service of process has been effected, the responsible officer or process server must typically file a return of service or proof of service or "affidavit of service" with the court (or convey one to the plaintiff to file with the court). The return of service indicates the time and place at which service was effected, the person served, and any additional information needed to establish that service was properly made. It is signed by the process server, and operates as prima facie evidence that service of process was effectively made.

Arizona Court Rules also require that any return or affidavit of service filed by a process server other than a sheriff or constable shall clearly state the county in which the process server is registered. Many Arizona process servers include their Certification Number on their returns/affidavits. Certification Numbers are assigned by the Clerk of the Superior Court in each county.

In California, "Registered Process Servers" are granted "...a limited exemption against trespassing in gated communities." This allows servers to enter a private property for a reasonable period of time to attempt service of process. In California, gated communities which are "...staffed by a security guard, or where access is controlled, must allow a Registered Process Server to enter for service of process upon presenting valid identification, and indicating to which address the process server is going." This does not prevent the security guard from contacting the resident and alerting them that a process server is on his way to their residence. § 415.21 Access to gated communities.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person shall be granted access to a gated community ... for the purpose of performing lawful service of process, upon identifying to the guard the person or persons to be served, and upon displaying a current driver's license or other identification, and one of the follow: (1) a badge [applies to sheriffs and marshals] (2) evidence of current registration as a process server... '(b)This section shall only apply to a gated community which is staffed, at the time service of process is attempted, by a guard or other ... personnel assigned to control access...it does not apply to a private residence that has posted no trespassing signs'

In Washington, "Registered Process Servers" are granted a limited exemption or affirmative defense against trespassing:

The actor was attempting to serve legal process which includes any document required or allowed to be served upon persons or property, by any statute, rule, ordinance, regulation, or court order, excluding delivery by the mails of the United States. This defense applies only if the actor did not enter into a private residence or other building not open to the public and the entry onto the premises was reasonable and necessary for service of the legal process.

— RCW 9A.52.090 (4)


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Some of our services include:

    • Service of Process:

      We will provide you with a registered process server to serve your
      legal documents in Los Angeles or anywhere in Southern California.
      Our certified process servers are professional and will serve your
      documents and provide you immediately with a proof of service.


    • Eviction Notices:

      A Notice of Eviction must be served according to California
      State Law and can often be an tough process.
      We will make sure your papers are served in accordance with
      State Law so that your case is not delayed

    •  

    • Unlawful Detainer Actions:

      When filing an Unlawful Detainer Action, you will need to have your
      Summons and Complaints served,
      and usually a Prejudgment Claim of Right of Possession as well.

     

    • Court Filings:

      When filing your papers in California, there are rules
      that apply for different local courts.
      We are in and out of the Courts all the time and we can properly file your
      Proof of Service for you.

     

    • Skip Tracing:

      Often, it is hard to locate the person you need to have served.
      In these cases, we provide skip tracing in order to locate evasive persons.
      When you need skip trace,
      it is important to hire a professional Detective Agency that
      has access to private records.



    • Routine, Rush and Same Day Service Available:

      Although we are very efficient process servers,
      sometimes our clients need to have defendants served even faster.
      Let us know if you need rush or one hour service.


     

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    ____________________________________________________________________

    INFORMATION REGARDING
    CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE - CCP

    ___________________________________

    CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE - CCP
    PART 2. OF CIVIL ACTIONS [307 - 1062.20] ( Part 2 enacted 1872. )
    TITLE 5. JURISDICTION AND SERVICE OF PROCESS [410.10 - 418.11] ( Title 5 added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610. )
    CHAPTER 4. Service of Summons [413.10 - 417.40] ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610. )

    ARTICLE 3. Manner of Service of Summons [415.10 - 415.95] ( Article 3 added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610. )

    415.30.
    (a) A summons may be served by mail as provided in this section.
    A copy of the summons and of the complaint shall be mailed
    (by first-class mail or airmail, postage prepaid) to the person to be served,
    together with two copies of the notice and acknowledgment provided for in subdivision
    (b) and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to the sender.
    (b) The notice specified in subdivision (a) shall be in substantially the following form:
    (Title of court and cause, with action number, to be inserted by the sender prior to mailing)

    NOTICE
    To:(Here state the name of the person to be served.)
    This summons is served pursuant to Section 415.30 of the California Code of Civil Procedure.
    Failure to complete this form and return it to the sender within 20 days may subject you
    (or the party on whose behalf you are being served) to liability for the payment
    of any expenses incurred in serving a summons upon you in any other manner permitted by law.
    If you are served on behalf of a corporation, unincorporated association (including a partnership),
    or other entity, this form must be signed in the name of such entity by you or by a person
    authorized to receive service of process on behalf of such entity.
    In all other cases, this form must be signed by you personally or by a person authorized by you to acknowledge receipt of summons.
    Section 415.30 provides that this summons is deemed served on the date of execution of an acknowledgment of receipt of summons.

    Signature of sender

    ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT OF SUMMONS
    This acknowledges receipt on (insert date) of a copy of the summons and of the complaint at (insert address).
    Date:(Date this acknowledgement is executed)

    Signature of person acknowledging receipt, with title if
    acknowledgment is made on behalf of another person

    (c) Service of a summons pursuant to this section is deemed complete on the date a written acknowledgement
    of receipt of summons is executed, if such acknowledgement thereafter is returned to the sender.
    (d) If the person to whom a copy of the summons and of the complaint are mailed pursuant to this section fails
    to complete and return the acknowledgement form set forth in subdivision (b) within 20 days from the
    date of such mailing, the party to whom the summons was mailed shall be liable for reasonable expenses thereafter
    incurred in serving or attempting to serve the party by another method permitted by this chapter, and, except for
    good cause shown, the court in which the action is pending, upon motion, with or without notice, shall award the party
    such expenses whether or not he is otherwise entitled to recover his costs in the action.
    (e) A notice or acknowledgment of receipt in form approved by the Judicial Council is deemed to comply with this section.
    (Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610.)

    *****************************************

    CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE - CCP
    PART 2. OF CIVIL ACTIONS [307 - 1062.20] ( Part 2 enacted 1872. )
    TITLE 5. JURISDICTION AND SERVICE OF PROCESS [410.10 - 418.11] ( Title 5 added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610. )
    CHAPTER 4. Service of Summons [413.10 - 417.40] ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610. )

    ARTICLE 4. Persons Upon Whom Summons May Be Served [416.10 - 416.90] ( Article 4 added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610. )

    416.10. A summons may be served on a corporation by delivering a copy of the summons and the complaint by any of the following methods:
    (a) To the person designated as agent for service of process as provided by any provision in Section 202, 1502, 2105,
    or 2107 of the Corporations Code (or Sections 3301 to 3303, inclusive, or Sections 6500 to 6504, inclusive,
    of the Corporations Code, as in effect on December 31, 1976, with respect to corporations to which they remain applicable).
    (b) To the president, chief executive officer, or other head of the corporation, a vice president, a secretary or assistant secretary,
    a treasurer or assistant treasurer, a controller or chief financial officer, a general manager, or a person authorized by the
    corporation to receive service of process.
    (c) If the corporation is a bank, to a cashier or assistant cashier or to a person specified in subdivision (a) or (b).
    (d) If authorized by any provision in Section 1701, 1702, 2110, or 2111 of the Corporations Code (or Sections 3301 to 3303,
    inclusive, or Sections 6500 to 6504, inclusive, of the Corporations Code, as in effect on December 31, 1976,
    with respect to corporations to which they remain applicable), as provided by that provision.
    (Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 567, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 2007.)

    416.20. A summons may be served on a corporation that has forfeited its charter or right to do business, or has
    dissolved, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint:
    (a) To a person who is a trustee of the corporation and of its stockholders or members; or
    (b) When authorized by any provision in Sections 2011 or 2114 of the Corporations Code (or Sections 3301 to 3303, inclusive, or
    Sections 6500 to 6504, inclusive, of the Corporations Code as in effect on December 31, 1976, with respect to corporations
    to which they remain applicable), as provided by such provision.
    (Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 235.)

    416.30. A summons may be served on a joint stock company or association by delivering a copy of the summons
    and of the complaint as provided by Section 416.10 or 416.20.
    (Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610.)

    416.40. A summons may be served on an unincorporated association (including a partnership) by delivering a
    copy of the summons and of the complaint:
    (a) If the association is a general or limited partnership, to the person designated as agent for service of process
    in a statement filed with the Secretary of State or to a general partner or the general manager of the partnership;
    (b) If the association is not a general or limited partnership, to the person designated as agent for service of process
    in a statement filed with the Secretary of State or to the president or other head of the association, a vice president,
    a secretary or assistant secretary, a treasurer or assistant treasurer, a general manager, or a person authorized by
    the association to receive service of process;
    (c) When authorized by Section 18220 of the Corporations Code, as provided by that section.
    (Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 178, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2005.)

    416.50. (a) A summons may be served on a public entity by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the clerk,
    secretary, president, presiding officer, or other head of its governing body.
    (b) As used in this section, public entity includes the state and any office, department, division, bureau, board, commission, or
    agency of the state, the Regents of the University of California, a county, city, district, public authority, public agency,
    and any other political subdivision or public corporation in this state.
    (Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610.)

    416.60. A summons may be served on a minor by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to his parent,
    guardian, conservator, or similar fiduciary, or, if no such person can be found with reasonable diligence, to any person
    having the care or control of such minor or with whom he resides or by whom he is employed, and to the minor if he is at least 12 years of age.
    (Amended by Stats. 1972, Ch. 579.)

    416.70. A summons may be served on a person (other than a minor) for whom a guardian, conservator, or similar
    fiduciary has been appointed by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to his guardian, conservator,
    or similar fiduciary and to such person, but, for good cause shown, the court in which the action is pending may dispense with delivery to such person.
    (Amended by Stats. 1972, Ch. 579.)

    416.80. When authorized by Section 12 of the Elections Code, a summons may be served as provided by that section.
    (Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 140, Sec. 38. Effective January 1, 2010.)

    416.90. A summons may be served on a person not otherwise specified in this article by delivering a copy of the summons
    and of the complaint to such person or to a person authorized by him to receive service of process.
    (Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610.)

    *********************************************

    Substituted service of process through the Secretary of State's office may be made upon a business entity if:

    Attempts at direct service of process have been unsuccessful;
    Attempts at direct service have been proven to the court to be reasonably diligent; and
    The court issues an order that service can be made upon the entity by hand delivering to the
    Secretary of State's office in Sacramento, as substituted service of process upon the entity, the following:

    A copy of the process (generally the summons and complaint) to be served;

    A copy of the court order permitting the service; and

    The statutory $50.00 fee.

    Substituted service of process in this manner is not permitted by mail. The order, process to be served and
    $50.00 fee must be hand delivered to our public counter in Sacramento office during regular business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.,
    Monday through Friday (excluding state holidays ), at 1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor, Room 390.

     

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