This article will provide guidance on Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure. Disclaimer: Due to the law’s rapidly changing nature, there will be times when the material on this site will not be current. It is provided for general information and is not intended as legal advice. It should not be considered comprehensive or exhaustive and is not a substitute for advice from your attorney. We make no express or implied warranty as to the material’s accuracy, reliability, completeness, timeliness, or appropriateness for a particular purpose, including applicability to your jurisdiction or circumstances. We assume no liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential damages resulting from your reliance on this material; you do so at your own risk. Seek the advice of an attorney. Comments, corrections, or suggestions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The information listed below may have been amended. For updated process serving legislation, please visit the Colorado State Legislature website.
Colorado Process Service Licensing Requirements
The process may be served inside or outside this state by the county’s sheriff where the service is made, a deputy, or any other person over the age of eighteen years, not a party to the action.
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Suppose a person to be served refuses to accept a copy of the process. In that case, service shall be sufficient if the person serving the process knows or has reason to identify the person who refuses to be served, identify the documents being served, and offers to deliver a copy of the documents to the person who refuses to be served.
Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 4. Process.
(a) To What Applicable? This Rule applies to all processes except as otherwise provided by these rules.
(b) Issuance of Summons by Attorney or Clerk. The summons may be signed and issued by the clerk under the court’s seal, or they may be signed and issued by the attorney for the plaintiff. Separate additional or amended summons may issue against any defendant at any time. All other processes shall be issued by the clerk, except as otherwise provided in these Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure.
(c) Contents of Summons. The summons shall contain the name of the court, the county in which the action is brought, the names or designation of the parties, shall be directed to the defendant, and shall state the time within which the defendant is required to appear and defend against the claims of the complaint, and shall notify him that in case he fails to do so, judgment by default may be rendered against him. If the summons is served by publication, the summons shall briefly state the sum of money or other relief demanded.
In the signature element thereof, the summons shall contain the name, address, and registration number of the plaintiff’s attorney, if any, and if not, the address of the plaintiff. Except in service by publication under Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure 4(g) or when otherwise ordered by the court, the complaint shall be served with the summons. In all other cases, service of a summons alone after the effective date of this amended Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure shall not constitute service of process. Where a summons’ special order, personal service is allowed without the complaint, and a copy of the order shall be served with the summons.
(d) By Whom Served. The process may be served inside or outside this state by the sheriff of the county where the service is made, by a deputy, or by any other person over the age of eighteen years, not a party to the action;
(e) Personal Service. Personal service shall be as follows:
(1) Upon a natural person over the age of eighteen years by delivering a copy or copies thereof to the person, or by leaving a copy or copies thereof at the person’s usual place of abode, with any person over the age of eighteen years who is a member of the person’s family, or at the person’s usual place of business, with the person’s secretary, bookkeeper, manager, or chief clerk; or by delivering a copy to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process;
(2) Upon a natural person, between the ages of thirteen years and eighteen years, by delivering a copy thereof to the person and another copy thereof to the person’s father, mother, or guardian, or if there be none in the state, then by delivering a copy thereof to any person in whose care or control the person may be; or with whom the person resides, or in whose service the person is employed; and upon a natural person under the age of thirteen years by delivering a copy to the person’s father, mother, or guardian, or if there be none in the state, then by delivering a copy thereof to the person in whose care or control the person may be.
(3) Upon a person for whom a conservator has been appointed, by delivering a copy thereof to such conservator;
(4) Upon a partnership or other unincorporated association, by delivering a copy thereof to one or more of the partners or associates, or a managing or general agent thereof;
(5) Upon a private corporation, by delivering a copy to any officer, manager, general agent, or registered agent. If no such officer or agent can be found in the county where the action is brought, such copy may be delivered to any stockholder, agent, member, or principal employee found in such county. If such service is upon a person other than an executive officer, the secretary, general agent, or registered agent, then the clerk shall mail a copy thereof to the corporation at its last known address, at least twenty days before default is entered;
(6) Upon a municipal corporation, by delivering a copy thereof to the mayor, city manager, clerk, or deputy clerk of such corporation;
(7) Upon a county, by delivering a copy thereof to the county clerk, chief deputy, county commissioner, or designee authorized to accept service of process;
(8) Upon a school district, by delivering a copy thereof to the superintendent or to any other employee authorized to accept service of process;
(9) Upon the state by delivering a copy thereof to the attorney general or to any employee in his office designated by him to accept service of process;
(A) Upon an officer, agent, or employee of the state, acting in his official capacity, by delivering a copy thereof to the officer, agent, or employee, and by delivering a copy to the attorney general or to any employee in his office designated by him to accept service of process.
(B) Upon a department or agency of the state, subject to suit, by delivering a copy thereof to the principal officer, chief clerk, or another executive employee thereof, and by delivering a copy to the attorney general or any employee in his office designated by him to accept service of process.
(C) For all purposes, the date of service upon the officer, agent, employee, department, or agency shall control, except that failure to serve copies upon the attorney general within three days of service upon the officer, agent, employee, department, or agency shall extend the time within which the officer, agent, employee, department, or agency must file a responsive pleading for sixty days beyond the time otherwise provided by these Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure.
(g) Other Service. Service by mail or publication shall be allowed only in actions affecting specific property or status or other rem proceedings. The party desiring service of process by publication or mail shall file a motion verified by the oath of such party or someone on the party’s behalf for an order of service by mail or publication. It shall state the facts authorizing such service and shall show the efforts, if any, that have been made to obtain personal service and shall give the address, or last known address, of each person to be served or shall state that the address and last known address are unknown. The court shall hear the motion ex parte and, if satisfied that due diligence has been used to obtain personal service or that efforts to obtain the same would have been to no avail, shall:
(1) Order the clerk to send by registered or certified mail a copy of the process addressed to such person at such address, requesting a return receipt signed by the addressee only. Such service shall be complete on the date of the filing of the clerk’s proof thereof, together with such return receipt attached thereto signed by such addressee, or
(2) Order publication of the process in a newspaper published in the county where the action is pending. Such publication shall be made for four weeks. Within fifteen days after the order, the clerk shall mail a copy of the process to each person whose address or last known address has been stated in the motion. Service shall be complete on the day of the last publication. If no newspaper is published in the county, the court shall designate one in some adjoining county.
(h) Manner of Proof.
(1) If served in a state or territory of the United States by a sheriff or United States marshal, or a deputy, by such person’s certificate with a statement as to date, place, and manner of service;
(2) If by any other person, by the person’s affidavit thereof, with the same statement;
(3) If by mail, by the certificate of the clerk showing the date of the mailing and the date the clerk received the return receipt;
(4) If by publication, by the affidavit of publication, together with the certificate of the clerk as to the mailing of a copy of the process where required;
(5) By the written admission or waiver of service by the person or persons to be served, duly acknowledged.
(i) Waiver of Service of Summons. A defendant who waives service of a summons does not waive any objection to the venue or the court’s jurisdiction over the defendant’s person.
(j) Amendment. At any time in its discretion and upon such terms as it deems, the court may allow any process or proof of service thereof to be amended unless it appears that material prejudice would result in the party’s substantial rights against whom the process is issued.
(k) Refusal of Copy. Suppose a person to be served refuses to accept a copy of the process. In that case, service shall be sufficient if the person serving the process knows or has reason to identify the person who refuses to be served, identify the documents being served, and offers to deliver a copy of the documents to the person who refuses to be served.
Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 5. Service and Filing of Pleadings and Other Papers
(a) Service: When Required. Except as otherwise provided in these Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, every order required by its terms to be served, every pleading after the original complaint unless the court otherwise orders because of numerous defendants, and every paper relating to discovery required to be served upon a party unless the court otherwise orders, every written motion other than one which may be heard ex parte, and every written notice, appearance, demand, the offer of judgment, the designation of record on appeal, and similar paper shall be served upon each of the parties. No service need be made on parties in default for failure to appear except that pleadings asserting new or additional claims for relief against them shall be served upon them in the manner provided for service of summons in Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 4.
(b) Service: How Made. Whenever under these rules, service is required or permitted to be made upon a party represented by an attorney, the service shall be made upon the attorney unless the court orders personal service upon the party. A resident attorney, on whom pleadings and other papers may be served, shall be associated as attorney of record with any foreign attorney practicing in any courts of this state. Service upon the attorney or a party shall be made by delivering a copy to the attorney or by mailing it to him at his address as given in the pleadings or by sending it via facsimile machine transmission to a facsimile number if one is designated in the pleadings, or if no pleading has been filed, or no address is given therein, then at his last known address or, if no address is known, by leaving it with the clerk of the court. Delivery of a copy within this Rule means: Handing it to the attorney or the party; or leaving it at his office with the attorney’s clerk or another person in charge thereof; or, if there is no one in charge, leaving it in a conspicuous place therein; or, if the office is closed or the person to be served has no office, leaving it at the person’s dwelling house or usual place of abode with some member of the family over the age of eighteen years then residing therein. Service by mail is complete upon mailing.
(c) Service: Numerous Defendants. In any action in which there are huge numbers of defendants, the court, upon motion or of its initiative, may order that service of the pleadings of the defendants and replies thereto need not be made as between the defendants and that any cross-claim, counterclaim, or matter constituting an avoidance or affirmative defense contained therein shall be deemed to be denied or avoided by all other parties and that the filing of any such pleading and service thereof upon the plaintiff constitutes due notice of it to the parties. A copy of every such order shall be served upon the parties in such manner and form as the court directs.
(d) Filing and Serving. Interrogatories, answers thereto, requests for admission, responses thereto, requests for production, responses thereto, and depositions shall not be filed until they are used in court proceedings. In all cases where these Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure do not expressly require the filing and service of a paper, after the original complaint and the filing of a paper alone is provided for, a copy of the such paper so filed shall be served upon the adverse party contemporaneously with the filing of such paper. Where the service alone of any paper is required, it shall be filed either before service or within a reasonable time thereafter. All papers after the complaint required to be served upon a party shall contain a certificate of service.
(e) Filing with Court Defined. The filing of pleadings and other papers with the court as required by these rules shall be made by filing them with the court’s clerk, except that the judge may permit the papers to be filed with the judge. In this event, the judge shall note thereon the filing date and forthwith transmit them to the clerk’s office. The clerk shall not refuse to accept any paper presented for filing solely because it is not presented in proper form as required by these rules or any local rules or practices.
Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 45. Subpoena
(a) For Attendance of Witnesses; Form; Issue. Subpoenas may be issued under Rule 45 only to compel witnesses’ attendance, with or without documentary evidence, at a deposition, hearing, or trial. Every subpoena shall state the court’s name and the title of the action and shall command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony at a time and place therein specified.
(b) For Production of Documentary Evidence. A subpoena may also command the person it is directed to produce the books, papers, documents, or tangible things designated therein. Still, the court, upon motion, made promptly and in any event at or before the time specified in the subpoena for compliance therewith, may: (1) Quash or modify the subpoena if it is unreasonable and oppressive; or (2) condition denial of the motion upon the advancement by the person in whose behalf the subpoena is issued of the reasonable cost of producing the books, papers, documents, or tangible things.
(c) Service. Service of a subpoena upon a person named therein shall be made by delivering a copy thereof to such person and by tendering the fees for one day’s attendance and the mileage allowed by law. Service is also valid if the person named in the subpoena has signed a written admission or waiver of personal service. When the subpoena is issued on behalf of the state of Colorado, or an officer or agency thereof, fees and mileage need not be tendered. Proof of service shall be made as in Rule 4(h). Unless otherwise ordered by the court for a good cause, the such subpoena shall be served no later than forty-eight hours before the time for appearance set out in said subpoena. The party issuing or causing the issuance of the subpoena under this rule, except in post-judgment proceedings, shall serve a copy of the subpoena (including a complete list of documents and things requested to be provided under the subpoena) upon all parties of record, including pro se parties, in the manner prescribed by C.R.C.P. 5 (b). Service on the other parties shall be made promptly after the subpoena’s service upon the person named therein. Original subpoenas and returns of service of such subpoenas need not be filed with the court.
(d) Subpoena for Taking Depositions; Place of Examination.
(1) A Deposition subpoena, upon notice to all parties to the action, may require the production of documentary evidence within the scope of discovery permitted by Rule 26. Any party, the person to whom a deposition subpoena is directed, or any other person claiming an interest in the documents affected, may move for a protective order under Rule 26, in addition to any other remedy available under Rule 45. The person to whom the subpoena is directed may, within ten days after the service thereof or on or before the time specified in the subpoena for compliance, if such time is less than ten days after service, serve upon the attorney designated in the subpoena written objection to inspection or copying of any or all of the designated materials. If an objection is made, the party serving the subpoena is not entitled to inspect and copy the materials except under the court’s order from which the subpoena was issued.
(2) A resident of this state may be required by subpoena to attend an examination upon deposition only in the county wherein he resides or is employed or transacts his business in person or at such other convenient place as is fixed by order of the court. A nonresident of this state may be required by subpoena to attend only within forty miles from the place of service or in the county wherein he resides or is employed or transacts his business in person or at such other convenient place is fixed by order of the court.
(e) Subpoena for Deposition, Hearing, or Trial. Subpoenas for attendance at a deposition, hearing, or trial shall be issued by the court’s clerk. The case is docketed or by one of the councils whose appearance has been entered in the particular case the subpoena is sought. A subpoena requiring the attendance of a witness at a deposition, hearing, or trial may be served at any place within the state.
(f) Subpoena in Aid of Execution or Proceedings After Judgment. Every subpoena or subpoena to produce issued by post-judgment proceedings of C.R.C.P. 69 shall comply with the service, attendance, production of documentary evidence, and depositions required by Rule 45. Written interrogatories under C.R.C.P. 69 shall be personally served on the judgment debtor by the requirements of and in the manner provided for service of a subpoena under Rule 45.
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