Disclaimer: Due to the rapidly changing nature of the law, there will be times when the material on this site will not be current. It is provided for general information purposes only 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 whatsoever 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.
Who can be a process server in Washington DC?
Any adult over the age of eighteen (18) years old, that is not a party to the case, or a member of a corporation or organization that is a party, may serve (deliver) the papers.
Rule 4. Summons.
(a) Form. The summons shall be signed by the Clerk, bear the seal of the Court, identify the Court and the parties, be directed to the defendant, and state the name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney or, if unrepresented, of the plaintiff. It shall also state the time within which the defendant must appear and defend, and notify the defendant that failure to do so will result in a judgment by default against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. The Court may allow a summons to be amended. Whenever service is made pursuant to a statute or rule of Court which provides (1) for service of a summons, or notice, or order in lieu of summons upon a party not an inhabitant of or found within the District of Columbia, or (2) for service upon or notice to a party to appear and respond or defend in an action by reason of the attachment or garnishment or similar seizure of the party’s property located within the District of Columbia, the summons, or notice, or order in lieu of summons shall correspond as nearly as may be to that required by the statute or rule.
(b) Issuance. A prepared summons, with copies for each defendant named in the complaint, shall be delivered to the Clerk at the time the complaint is filed. If additional process is required, a prepared summons for such process shall also be delivered to the Clerk. Upon receipt and due notation thereof, the Clerk shall return all but one copy of the summons to the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s agent for service of process in accordance with paragraph (c) of this Rule, recording on all copies the date of such return to the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s agent.
(c) Service with complaint; by whom made.
(1) A summons shall be served together with a copy of the complaint and initial order. The plaintiff is responsible for service of a summons, complaint and initial order within the time allowed under subdivision (m) and shall furnish the person effecting service with the necessary copies of the summons, complaint and initial order.
(2) Service may be effected by any person who is not a party and who is at least 18 years of age. At the request of the plaintiff, however, the Court may direct that service be effected by a United States marshal, deputy United States marshal, or other person or officer specially appointed by the Court for that purpose. Such direction shall be made only (a) when service is to be effected on behalf of the United States or an officer or agency thereof, or (b) when the Court issues an order stating that service by a United States marshal or deputy United States marshal or a person specially appointed for that purpose is required in order that service be properly effected in that particular action.
(3) As to any defendant described in subdivisions (e), (f), (h), or (j), service also may be effected by mailing a copy of the summons, complaint and initial order to the person to be served by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested.
(4) As to any defendant described in subdivisions (e), (f), or (h), service may be effected by mailing a copy of the summons, complaint and initial order by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the person to be served, together with two copies of a Notice and Acknowledgment conforming substantially to Form 1-A and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to the sender. Unless good cause is shown for not doing so, the Court shall order the payment by the party served of the costs incurred in securing an alternative method of service authorized by this Rule if the person served does not complete and return, within 20 days after mailing, the Notice and Acknowledgment of receipt of the summons.
(5) Service of process pursuant to paragraphs (2) or (3) of this subdivision, or acknowledgment of service pursuant to paragraph (4), may, at the plaintiff’s election, be attempted either concurrently or successively.
(e) Service Upon individuals within the United States. Unless otherwise provided by law, service upon an individual from whom an acknowledgment has not been obtained and filed, other than an infant or an incompetent person, may be effected in any part of the United States:
(1) pursuant to District of Columbia law, or the law of the state or territory in which service is effected, for the service of a summons upon the defendant in an action brought in the courts of general jurisdiction of that state or territory; or
(2) by delivering a copy of the summons, complaint and initial order to the individual personally or by leaving copies thereof at the individual’s dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein or by delivering a copy of the summons, complaint and initial order to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process.
(f) Service upon individuals in a foreign country. Unless otherwise provided by applicable law, service upon an individual from whom an acknowledgment has not been obtained and filed, other than an infant or an incompetent person, may be effected in a place not within the United States:
(1) by any internationally agreed means reasonably calculated to give notice, such as those means authorized by the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra-judicial Documents; or
(2) if there is no internationally agreed means of service or the applicable international agreement allows other means of service, provided that service is reasonably calculated to give notice:
(A) in the manner prescribed by the law of the foreign country for service in that country in an action in any of its courts of general jurisdiction; or
(B) as directed by the foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory or letter of request; or
(C) unless prohibited by the law of the foreign country, by
(i) delivery to the individual personally of a copy of the summons, complaint and initial order; or
(ii) any form of mail requiring a signed receipt, to be addressed and dispatched by the clerk of the court to the party to be served; or
(3) by other means not prohibited by international agreement as may be directed by the Court.
(g) Service upon infants and incompetent persons. Service upon an infant or an incompetent person in the United States shall be effected in the manner prescribed by the law of the District of Columbia or the law of the state in which the service is made for the service of summons or other like process upon any such defendant in an action brought in the courts of general jurisdiction of that state. Service upon an infant or an incompetent person in a place not within the United States shall be effected in the manner prescribed by paragraph (2)(A) or (2)(B) of subdivision (f) or by such means as the Court may direct.
(h) Service upon corporations and associations. Unless otherwise provided by applicable law, service upon a domestic or foreign corporation or upon a partnership or other unincorporated association that is subject to suit under a common name, and from which an acknowledgment of service has not been obtained and filed, shall be effected:
(1) within the United States in the manner prescribed for individuals by subdivision (e)(1), or by delivering a copy of the summons, complaint and initial order to an officer, a managing or general agent, or any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process and, if the agent is one authorized by statute to receive service and the statute so requires, by also mailing a copy to the defendant, or
(2) in a place not within the United States in any manner prescribed for individuals by subdivision (f) except personal delivery as provided in paragraph (2)(C)(i) thereof.
(i) Service upon the United States and its agencies, corporations, or officers.
(1) Service upon the United States shall be effected
(A) by delivering a copy of the summons, complaint and initial order to the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia or to an assistant United States Attorney or clerical employee designated by the United States Attorney in a writing filed with the Clerk of the Court, or by sending a copy of the summons, complaint and initial order by registered or certified mail addressed to the civil process clerk at the office of the United States Attorney and
(B) by also sending a copy of the summons, complaint and initial order by registered or certified mail to the Attorney General of the United States at Washington, District of Columbia, and
(C) in any action attacking the validity of an order of an officer or agency of the United States not made a party, by also sending a copy of the summons, complaint and initial order by registered or certified mail to the officer or agency.
(2) Service upon an officer, agency, or corporation of the United States shall be effected by serving the United States in the manner prescribed by paragraph (1) of this subdivision and by also sending a copy of the summons, complaint and initial order by registered or certified mail to the officer, agency or corporation.
(3) The Court shall allow a reasonable time for service of process under this subdivision for the purpose of curing the failure to serve multiple officers, agencies, or corporations of the United States if the plaintiff has effected service on either the United States Attorney or the Attorney General of the United States.
(j) Service upon the District of Columbia, an officer or agency thereof, or upon other government entities subject to suit.
(1) Service shall be made upon the District of Columbia by delivering (pursuant to paragraph (c)(2)) or mailing (pursuant to paragraph (c)(3)) a copy of the summons, complaint and initial order to the Mayor of the District of Columbia (or designee) and the Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia (or designee). The Mayor and the Corporation Counsel may each designate an employee for receipt of service of process by filing a written notice with the Clerk of the Court. In any action attacking the validity of an order of an officer or agency of the District of Columbia not made a party, a copy of the summons, complaint and initial order also shall be delivered or mailed to such officer or agency. Service upon an officer or agency of the District of Columbia shall be made by delivering (pursuant to paragraph (c)(2)) or mailing (pursuant to paragraph (c)(3)) a copy of the summons, complaint and initial order to the Mayor (or designee), the Corporation Counsel (or designee), and such officer or agency.
(2) Service upon a state, municipal corporation, or other governmental organization subject to suit shall be effected by delivering a copy of the summons, complaint and initial order to its chief executive officer or by serving the summons, complaint and initial order in the manner prescribed by the law of that state for the service of summons or other like process upon any such defendant.
(k) Territorial limits of effective service.
(1) Service of a summons, complaint and initial order or filing an acknowledgment of service is effective to establish jurisdiction over the person of a defendant
(A) who could be subjected to the jurisdiction of this Court, or
(B) who is a party joined under Rule 14 or Rule 19 and is served at a place not more than 100 miles from the place of hearing or trial, or
(D) when authorized by a statute of the United States or the of Columbia.
(2) If the exercise of jurisdiction is consistent with the Constitution and applicable law, serving a summons or filing an acknowledgment of service is also effective, with respect to claims arising under such law, to establish personal jurisdiction over the person of any defendant who is not subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of general jurisdiction of any state.
(l) Proof of service. If service is not acknowledged, the person effecting service shall make proof of service to the Court. If service is made by a person other than a United States marshal or deputy United States marshal, the person shall make affidavit thereof. The affidavit shall specifically state each of the following:
(1) If service is made by delivery pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this Rule, the return of service shall be made under oath (unless service was made by the United States marshal or deputy United States marshal) and shall specifically state the caption and number of the case; the process server’s name, residential or business address, and the fact that he or she is eighteen (18) years of age or older; the time and place at which service was effected; the fact that a summons, a copy of the complaint and the initial order setting the case for an Initial Scheduling Conference were delivered to the person served; and, if service was effected by delivery to a person other than a party named in the summons, then specific facts from which the Court can determine that the person to whom process was delivered meets the appropriate qualifications for receipt of process set out in subdivisions (e) through (j) of this Rule.
(2) If service is made by registered or certified mail under paragraph (c)(3) of this Rule, the return shall be accompanied by the signed receipt attached to an affidavit which shall specifically state the caption and number of the case; the name and address of the person who posted the registered or certified letter; the fact that such letter contained a summons, a copy of the complaint and the initial order setting the case for an Initial Scheduling Conference; and, if the return receipt does not purport to be signed by the party named in the summons, then specific facts from which the Court can determine that the person who signed the receipt meets the appropriate qualifications for receipt of process set out in subdivisions (e) through (j) of this Rule.
Proof of service in a place not within the United States shall, if effected under paragraph (1) of subdivision (f), be made pursuant to the applicable treaty or convention, and shall, if effected under paragraph (2) or (3) thereof, include a receipt signed by the addressee or other evidence of delivery to the addressee satisfactory to the Court. Failure to make proof of service does not affect the validity of the service. The Court may allow proof of service to be amended.
(m) Time limit for service. Within 60 days of the filing of the complaint, the plaintiff must file either an acknowledgment of service or proof of service of the summons, the complaint and any order directed by the Court to the parties at the time of filing. The acknowledgement or proof shall be filed as to each defendant who has not responded to the complaint. Prior to the expiration of the foregoing time period, a motion may be made to extend the time for service. The motion must set forth in detail the efforts which have been made, and will be made in the future, to obtain service. The Court shall extend the period for such time as may be warranted by circumstances set forth in the motion. Failure to comply with the requirements of this Rule shall result in the dismissal without prejudice of the complaint. The Clerk shall enter the dismissal and shall serve notice thereof on all the parties entitled thereto. This subdivision does not apply to service in a foreign country pursuant to subdivision (f) or (h)(2) or to cases to which Rule 40-III is applicable.
(n) Seizure of property; service of summons not feasible.
(1) If a statute of the District of Columbia so provides, the Court may assert jurisdiction over property. Notice to claimants of the property shall then be sent in the manner provided by the statute or by service of a summons under this rule.
(2) Upon a showing that personal jurisdiction over a defendant cannot be obtained with reasonable efforts by service of summons in any manner authorized by this rule, the Court may assert jurisdiction over any of the defendant’s assets found within the District of Columbia by seizing the assets under the circumstances and in the manner provided by District of Columbia law.
(Amended, May 23, 1975; Feb. 1, 1985; Apr. 2, 1990; Jan. 1, 1991; May 12, 1993, eff. July 1, 1993; May 26, 1995, eff. June 1, 1995; May 26, 1998; amended effective February 16, 2000.)
Rule 5. Service and filing of pleadings and other papers.
(a) Service: When required. Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, every order required by its terms to be served, every pleading subsequent to the original complaint unless the Court otherwise orders, 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, offer of judgment, designation of record on appeal, and similar paper shall be served upon each of the parties. Any pleadings asserting new or additional claims for relief against any party in default must be served upon such party in the manner provided for service of summons in Rule 4.
In an action begun by seizure of property, in which no person need be or is named as defendant, any service required to be made prior to the filing of an answer, claim, or appearance shall be made upon the person having custody or possession of the property at the time of its seizure.
(b) Same: 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 service upon the party is ordered by the Court. Service upon the attorney or upon a party shall be made by delivering a copy to the attorney or party or by mailing it to the attorney or party at the attorney’s or party’s 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 to the party; or leaving it at the attorney’s or party’s office with a clerk or other 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 person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein. Service by mail is complete upon mailing.
(c) Same: Numerous defendants. In any action in which there are unusually large numbers of defendants, the Court, upon motion or of its own 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. All papers after the complaint required to be served upon a party, other than those referred to in Rule 12-I(e), shall be filed with the Court either before service or within 5 days after service; however, the clerk shall not accept for filing depositions transcripts, interrogatories, requests for documents, requests for admission, and responses thereto except as set forth in the last sentence of this paragraph. The party serving such a discovery paper or noticing a deposition must, however, file with the Court a CERTIFICATE REGARDING DISCOVERY which shall indicate the title of the discovery paper served and the date on which it was served. The requesting party must retain the original discovery paper, and must also retain personally, or make arrangements for the reporter to retain, in their original and unaltered form, any deposition transcripts which have been made at the party’s request. Such discovery papers and deposition transcripts must be retained until the case is concluded in this Court, the time for noting an appeal or petitioning for a writ of certiorari has expired, and any such appeal or petition has been decided. Discovery papers and deposition transcripts may be filed, without leave of court, if they are appended to a motion or opposition to which they are relevant and may otherwise be filed if so ordered by the Court sua sponte or pursuant to motion.
(e) Filing with the Court defined. The filing of papers with the Court as required by these Rules shall be made by filing them with the Clerk of the Court, except that the judge may permit the papers to be filed with the judge, in which event the judge shall note thereon the filing date and forthwith transmit them to the Office of the Clerk. On the date of the filing of any motion, any papers related to a motion (i.e., an opposition to a motion, memorandum of points and authorities, exhibits related thereto or proposed order), the party filing such motion, papers or pretrial statements and other papers described in SCR Civil 16(d) and (e) shall deliver a chambers copy thereof to a depository designated by the Clerk of the Court for receipt of such papers by the assigned judge. Along with the chambers copy of the motion, the moving party must provide the assigned judge with (1) an original proposed order and (2) an addressed envelope or a mailing label for each counsel or unrepresented party to the case. With the chambers copy of any opposition to a motion, the party filing the opposition must provide the assigned judge with an original proposed order. If the original document has been mailed, the chambers copy may be mailed to chambers. No other papers shall be delivered to the judge’s chambers unless the assigned judge so orders.
(Amended, Nov. 16, 1976; June 1, 1982; Apr. 2, 1990; Jan. 1, 1991; Apr. 29, 1992, eff. June 8, 1992; May 12, 1993, eff. July 1, 1993; Feb. 2, 1998, eff. Mar. 1, 1998.)
Rule 5-I. Proof of service.
Proof of service of papers required or permitted to be served (other than those for which a method of proof is prescribed elsewhere in these Rules or by statute) and proof that chambers copies have been supplied to the assigned judge as required by Rule 5(e), shall be filed before action is to be taken thereon. The proof shall show the date and manner of service on the parties and delivery to the judge, and may be by written acknowledgment thereof, by affidavit of the person making service or delivery, by certificate of a member of the Bar of this Court, or by other proof satisfactory to the Court. Failure to make such proof will not affect the validity thereof. The Court may at any time allow the proof to be amended or supplied, unless to do so would result in material prejudice to a party.
(Amended, Apr. 29, 1992, eff. June 8, 1992.)
Rule 5-II. Pleadings and orders affecting estates of veterans.
A copy of any pleading or order affecting the estate of a veteran shall be mailed to the Veterans Administration by the party filing or obtaining the same.
Rule 45. Subpoena.
(a) Form; issuance.
(1) Every subpoena shall
(A) state the name of the Court; and
(B) state the title of the action, and its civil action number and individual calendar number; and
(C) command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony or to produce and permit inspection and copying of designated books, documents or tangible things in the possession, custody or control of that person, or to permit inspection of premises, at a time and place therein specified; and
(D) set forth the text of subdivisions (c) and (d) of this rule.
A command to produce evidence or to permit inspection may be joined with a command to appear at trial or hearing or at deposition, or may be issued separately.
(2) A subpoena for a deposition, production, or inspection shall specify a place for the deposition, production, or inspection which is within the District of Columbia, unless the parties and person subpoenaed otherwise agree or the Court, upon application, fixes another convenient location.
(3) The clerk shall issue a subpoena, signed but otherwise in blank, to a party requesting it, who shall complete it before service. An attorney as officer of the court may also issue and sign a subpoena.
(1) A subpoena may be served by any person who is not a party and is not less than 18 years of age. Service of a subpoena upon a person named therein shall be made by delivering a copy thereof to such person and, if the person’s attendance is commanded, by tendering to that person the fees for one day’s attendance and the mileage allowed by law. When the subpoena is issued on behalf of the United States or the District of Columbia or an officer or agency thereof, fees and mileage need not be tendered. Prior notice of any commanded production of documents and things or inspection of premises before trial shall be served on each party in the manner prescribed by Rule 5 (b).
(2) Subject to the provisions of clause (ii) of subparagraph (c)(3)(A) of this Rule, a subpoena for a hearing or trial may be served at any place within the District of Columbia, or at any place without the District of Columbia that is within 25 miles of the place of the hearing or trial; a subpoena for a deposition, production, or inspection may be served at any place which is within the District of Columbia or within 25 miles of the District of Columbia. When an applicable statute provides therefor, the Court upon proper application and cause shown may authorize the service of a subpoena at any other place. A subpoena directed to a witness in a foreign country who is a national or resident of the United States shall issue under the circumstances and in the manner and be served as provided in Title 28 U.S.C. § 1783.
(3) Proof of service when necessary shall be made by filing with the clerk of the court a statement of the date and manner of service and of the names of the persons served, certified by the person who made the service.
(c) Protection of persons subject to subpoenas.
(1) A party or an attorney responsible for the issuance and service of a subpoena shall take reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue burden or expense on a person subject to that subpoena. The Court shall enforce this duty and impose upon the party or attorney in breach of this duty an appropriate sanction, which may include, but is not limited to, lost earnings and a reasonable attorney’s fee.
A person commanded to produce and permit inspection and copying of designated books, papers, documents or tangible things or inspection of premises need not appear in person at the place of production or inspection unless commanded to appear for deposition, hearing or trial.
(B) Subject to paragraph (d)(2) of this Rule, a person commanded to produce and permit inspection and copying may, within 14 days after service of the subpoena or before the time specified for compliance if such time is less than 14 days after service, serve upon the party or attorney designated in the subpoena written objection to inspection or copying of any or all of the designated materials or of the premises. If objection is made, the party serving the subpoena shall not be entitled to inspect and copy the materials or inspect the premises except pursuant to an order of the Court. If objection has been made, the party serving the subpoena may, upon notice to the person commanded to produce, move at any time for an order to compel the production. Such an order to compel production shall protect any person who is not a party or an officer of a party from significant expense resulting from the inspection and copying commanded.
On timely motion, the Court shall quash or modify the subpoena if it
(i) fails to allow reasonable time for compliance;
(ii)requires a person who is not a party or an officer of a party to travel to a place more than 25 miles from the place where that person resides, is employed or regularly transacts business in person, except that, subject to the provisions of clause (c)(3)(B)(iii) of this Rule, such a person may in order to attend trial be commanded to travel from any such place to the place of trial, or
(iii) requires disclosure of privileged or other protected matter and no exception or waiver applies, or
(iv) subjects a person to undue burden.
(B) If a subpoena
(i) requires disclosure of a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information, or
(ii) requires disclosure of an unretained expert’s opinion or information not describing specific events or occurrences in dispute and resulting from the expert’s study made not at the request of any party, or
(iii) requires a person who is not a party or an officer of a party to incur substantial expense to travel more than 25 miles to attend trial, the Court may, to protect a person subject to or affected by the subpoena, quash or modify the subpoena or, if the party in whose behalf the subpoena is issued shows a substantial need for the testimony or material that cannot be otherwise met without undue hardship and assures that the person to whom the subpoena is addressed will be reasonably compensated, the Court may order appearance or production only upon specified conditions.
(d) Duties in responding to subpoena.
(1) A person responding to a subpoena to produce documents shall produce them as they are kept in the usual course of business or shall organize and label them to correspond with the categories in the demand.
(2) When information subject to a subpoena is withheld on a claim that it is privileged or subject to protection as trial preparation materials, the claim shall be made expressly and shall be supported by a description of the nature of the documents, communications, or things not produced that is sufficient to enable the demanding party to contest the claim.
(e) Contempt. Failure by any person without adequate excuse to obey a subpoena served upon that person may be deemed a contempt of the Court. An adequate cause for failure to obey exists when a subpoena purports to require a non-party to attend or produce at a place not within the limits provided by clause (ii) of subparagraph (c)(3)(A).
(Amended, June 1, 1982; Apr. 2, 1990; May 12, 1993, eff. July 1, 1993.)
District of Columbia Code
Service or execution on Sunday. Repealed.
Repealed. [Process may not be served on Sunday.]
Repealed. June 18, 1991, D.C. Law 9-5, § 3(c), 38 DCR 2717; Aug. 17, 1991, D.C. Law 9-39, § 3(c), 38 DCR 4970.
Service on infants; appointment and compensation of guardian and attorney.
(a) When an infant is a party defendant in an action, the summons and complaint shall be served upon him personally and, when he is under 16 years of age, upon the person with whom he resides, if within the District. The infant shall be produced in court unless, for cause shown, the court dispenses with his appearance. The provisions of rules of court regarding guardians ad litem apply, and whenever in the judgment of the court the interests of an infant defendant require it, the court shall assign an attorney to represent the infant whose compensation shall be paid by the plaintiff, or out of the estate of the infant, at the discretion of the court.
(b) An infant who secretes himself or evades service of process may be proceeded against as if he were a nonresident.
(c) Whoever secretes an infant against whom process has issued, so as to prevent service of the process, or prevents his appearance in court, is liable to attachment and punishment as for contempt.
(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 513, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; 1973 Ed., § 13-332.)
Service on incompetent persons. When a person non compos mentis is a party defendant in an action, process shall be served upon him personally, if within the District, and upon his committee, if there is one within the District.
(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 513, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; 1973 Ed., § 13-333.)
Service on foreign corporations.
(a) In an action against a foreign corporation doing business in the District, process may be served on the agent of the corporation or person conducting its business, or, when he is absent and can not be found, by leaving a copy at the principal place of business in the District, or, where there is no such place of business, by leaving a copy at the place of business or residence of the agent in the District, and that service is effectual to bring the corporation before the court.
(b) When a foreign corporation transacts business in the District without having a place of business or resident agent therein, service upon any officer or agent or employee of the corporation in the District is effectual as to actions growing out of contracts entered into or to be performed, in whole or in part, in the District of Columbia or growing out of any tort committed in the District.
(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 513, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; 1973 Ed., § 13-334.)
Service by publication on domestic or foreign corporations. In an action specified by section 13-336, when process can not be served upon a domestic or foreign corporation, the corporation may be proceeded against as a nonresident defendant, by notice by publication.
(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 514, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; 1973 Ed., § 13-335.)
Service by publication on nonresidents, absent defendants, and unknown heirs or devisees.
(a) In actions specified by subsection (b) of this section, publication may be substituted for personal service of process upon a defendant who can not be found and who is shown by affidavit to be a nonresident, or to have been absent from the District for at least six months, or against the unknown heirs or devisees of deceased persons.
(b) This section applies only to:
(1) actions for partition;
(2) actions for divorce or annulment;
(3) actions for child custody under D.C. Code, title 16, chapter 45;
(4) actions by attachment;
(5) actions for foreclosure of mortgages and deeds of trust;
(6) actions for the establishment of title to real estate by possession;
(7) actions for the enforcement of mechanics’ liens, and other liens against real or personal property within the District; and
(8) actions that have for their immediate object the enforcement or establishment of any lawful right, claim, or demand to or against any real or personal property within the jurisdiction of the court.
(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 514, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; 1973 Ed., § 13-336; Mar. 10, 1983, D.C. Law 4-200, § 3, 30 DCR 125.)
Personal service outside District in lieu of publication.
(a) In actions specified by section 13-336, personal service of process may be made on a nonresident defendant out of the District, and the service has the same effect, and no other, as an order of publication duly executed.
(b) The service may be made by any person not a party to or otherwise interested in the subject-matter in controversy. The return shall be made under oath in the District of Columbia, unless the person making the service is a sheriff, deputy sheriff, marshal, or deputy marshal, authorized to serve process where service is made. The return must show the time and place of service and that the defendant so served is a nonresident of the District of Columbia.
(c) The cost and expense of such service of process out of the District shall be borne by the party at whose instance it is made and may not be taxed as part of the costs in the case; but where the service of process is made by an authorized officer of the law specified by this section, the actual and usual cost of the service of process shall be taxed as a part of the costs in the case.
(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 514, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; 1973 Ed., § 13-337.)
Prerequisites for order of publication. An order for the substitution of publication for personal service may not be made until:
(1) a summons for the defendant has been issued and returned “Not to be found,” and
(2) the nonresidence of the defendant or his absence for at least six months is proved by affidavit to the satisfaction of the court.
(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 514, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; 1973 Ed., § 13-338.)