Service of Process:
Once you initiate an action against someone, whether it’s a family or civil case, you must notify the other party that they are being sued. The process of formally notifying someone that an action has been initiated against them is known as “service of process”. Those who are certified in providing the documents necessary to complete the service of process are called process servers.
Providing notice to a defendant or respondent through email or by mail is not sufficient to constitute service; even if that party receives it. There are circumstances where a formal service may not be necessary, such as when the party to be served waives this requirement. If a party decides to waive the service of process, be sure to get it in writing with the party’s signature and file the waiver with the Court.
A process server will serve the defendant/respondent with a copy of the action and a summons. A summons explains in writing to the addressee that they have been named as a defendant/respondent in a lawsuit and gives specific instructions, including the timeframe to submit a response and where to submit it.
Make sure the information on the summons is accurate:
It’s important to make sure that the summons is completely accurate. If a party’s name is misspelled or contains the wrong first name or last name, then the summons is inadequate and the action may be subject to dismissal.
What is the deadline for the other party to submit a response to the action?
A response is required to be filed within twenty (20) days after the party is served. Failure to respond to the summons will be considered as a default by the defendant/respondent. The judge can then enter a default judgment against the defendant/respondent, granting everything that was requested by the plaintiff/petitioner.
If you have questions about filing an action, it’s best to ask a qualified family law attorney. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your position, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
No Attorney-Client Relationship or Legal Advice: Communication of information by, in, to or through this Website and your receipt or use of it: (1) is not provided in the course of and does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship; (2) is not intended as a solicitation; (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice; and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. You should not act upon any such information without first seeking qualified professional counsel on your specific matter. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon Web site communications or advertisements. Feel free to contact us if you need legal assistance.