HOW TO SERVE LEGAL PAPERS IN CONNECTICUT

This article will provide guidance on How To Serve legal papers in Connecticut. Connecticut law allows Connecticut Process Service by any ‘indifferent person’ under limited circumstances, although the state does not license, register, or otherwise modulate private process servers. This means that there is no actual central listing or registry of private process servers. However, each person who serves Connecticut Process Service can be entitled to around USD 100 for private process service. 

It is a feature of the private Process Service that for every second and additional defendant at the same address, they are eligible to receive an additional fee of USD 50 each.

PERSONAL JURISDICTION IN CONNECTICUT

As to a cause of action arising, a court in Connecticut may exercise personal jurisdiction over any nonresident individual or foreign partnership, or even their executor or administrator, who [A.] transacts any business within the state; or [B.] commits a tortious act within the state, except defamation of character arising from the act; or [C.] commits a tortuous act from beyond the state causing injury to person or property inside the state.   This transaction can be in person or through an agent.

If the individual regularly does or solicit business or engages in any other persistent course of conduct or owns the property, they fall within the jurisdiction of the state as per the Connecticut Process Service. Anyone who is not a resident of Connecticut is deemed to have appointed the Secretary of the State as their attorney. They have also agreed that any Connecticut Process Service in any civil action brought against the nonresident individual or foreign partnership could well be served upon the Secretary of the State and must also have the same validity as if served upon them.

 An officer who receives the summons must serve it on the Secretary by delivering a true and attested copy of it to the Secretary’s office at least twelve days before the return date of the summons. This means that the officer has an option to complete Connecticut Process Service also by sending a similar true and attested copy to the defendant at their last known address via registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, with an endorsement thereon of the Connecticut Process Service upon the secretary. A twenty-five dollar charge is then required to be left with the Secretary by the officer delivering the process, and this money will be deducted from the plaintiff’s expenses if the plaintiff wins the case. The Secretary of the State should retain a record of each such Connecticut Process Service and the day and hour of Connecticut Process Service.

HOW TO SERVE SUBPOENAS IN CONNECTICUT

Subpoenas for witnesses must also be signed by the clerk of the court or a commissioner of the Superior Court and will be served by an officer, indifferent person, or by an investigator of the Division of Public Defender Services. The subpoena must be issued not less than eighteen hours before the time scheduled for the person called to appear unless the court directs otherwise for purposes of Connecticut Process Service.

Any subpoena calling a police officer as a witness may also be served upon the chief of police or any person authorized by the chief of police at the relevant police station, which acts as the agent of the police officer specified. Served upon the agent will be assumed to constitute Connecticut Process Service upon the police officer.

Any subpoena calling a correctional officer as a witness may be served upon a person authorized by the Commissioner of Correction at the correctional institution where the correctional officer is assigned who shall act as the agent of the correctional officer specified in the subpoena. Any Connecticut Process Service upon the agent will constitute service upon the correctional officer.

SERVICE OF PROCESS BY A STATE MARSHAL

Connecticut requires an appointment with an examination administered by the State Marshal Commission. Regulations require the creation of a manual and training program and that applicants take an examination. 

By law, all civil Connecticut Process Service must be served by a sheriff, the deputy, a constable, or other proper officer authorized by statute. However, an indifferent person is allowed to serve Connecticut Process Service as long as [A.] more than one defendant is named in the process and they do not reside in the same county and [B.]the plaintiff or his attorney swears to the person signing the process that they believe that debt-loss can occur unless Connecticut Process Service is immediate. However, all Connecticut Process Service must be signed by a licensed attorney, a judge, or a court clerk.

REQUIREMENTS FOR QUALIFICATION TO THE STATE MARSHAL COMMISSION

The State Marshal Commission needs to ‘adopt regulations, establish professional standards, including training requirements and minimum fees for execution and service of process.’ 

Examination and training are required by the statute, wherein the State Marshalls must pass an exam with a raw score of eighty percent. This needs to be attempted every three years. The regulation requires that ‘the examination shall include, but not be limited to the functions of a state marshal, including Connecticut Process Service and execution and their familiarity with the applicable portions of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Connecticut Practice Book, and the commission’s regulations.’

Any person who pays, lends, or contributes anything of value to a person who is an appointing authority for the State Marshal Commission for political purposes will not be eligible for appointment as a state marshal for two years. From October 1st, 2001, and not later than October first each year, each state marshal is required to pay an annual fee of two hundred fifty dollars to the State Marshal Commission. This fee will be deposited in the General Fund.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR A STATE MARSHAL

To qualify as a state marshal under the Connecticut General Statutes, a person must [A.] be an elector in the county in which a vacancy for the position of state marshal exists;  [B.] speak, write and read English;  [C.] be at least twenty one years of age; [D.] have been awarded a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED);  [E.] be free from any physical, mental, or emotional disorder that would prevent the person from performing the duties of a state marshal;  [E.] be of good moral character; [F.] have a valid Connecticut driver’s license; and  [G.] has passed the examination required under section 6-38b-3 of Connecticut State Agencies’ Regulations and have completed all required training. The State Marshal Commission may waive the examination requirement for persons who previously served as deputy sheriffs in Connecticut.

WHAT DO THE STATE MARSHALS DO

In order to establish whether an applicant is qualified to serve as a state marshal, the State Marshal Commission will offer a written test to each candidate. A state marshal’s duties and responsibilities, such as Connecticut Process Service and execution, will be examined in the examination, wherein knowledge of the relevant sections of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Connecticut Practice Book, and the rules of the commission is important. At least an 80 percent raw score is necessary to pass the test.

The State Marshal Commission must provide a handbook for state marshals on their duties and obligations.  All state marshals will get a copy of this guidebook. State marshals must adhere to all continuing education and certification or re-certification requirements.

Each state marshal who serves Connecticut Process Service, summons, or attachments will receive a fee of not less than five dollars for each process served. This is not the same for execution on a summary process judgment, wherein the state marshal receives a fee of not less than twelve dollars and fifty cents. 

WHO IS PROCESS IS DIRECTED TO

All Connecticut Process Service should be addressed to a sheriff, deputy, a constable, or other competent authority authorized by legislation or to an indifferent person. A direction on the Connecticut Process Service ‘to any appropriate official’ shall be sufficient to direct the Connecticut Process Service to a sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, or other proper authority. 

Connecticut Process Service will not be oriented to an indifferent person until more defendants than just the one are titled in the Connecticut Process Service and are outlined to exist in different counties in the state. In the case of a writ of attachment, this will hold if the plaintiff makes an oath before the authority signing the writ that the affiant honestly thinks the plaintiff is in jeopardy of losing their debt or demand unless an indifferent person is delegated for the immediate service of the writ or other process.

The authority signing the writ must declare on the writ that they delivered the oath and put the name of the person to whom it is addressed, but they need not mention the cause for such directing. It should be borne in mind that procedure addressed to an indifferent person on account of such an affidavit must be abatable on evidence that the party making the affidavit did not have reasonable grounds, just in the course of creating it, for thinking the assertions in the affidavit to be true.

The Connecticut Process Service of a writ of a summons should be accomplished by the officer reading it and the complaint underlying it in the hearing of the defendant or by leaving an authenticated copy with them or left at their customary place of habitation. When Connecticut Process Service is done by providing this attested copy at the defendant’s customary place of dwelling, the officer making service should write in their return the address at which the attested copy was placed.

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Sources

1. CGS § 52-261

2. This also is applicable where the individual  derives substantial revenue from goods used or consumed or services rendered in the state, or alternatively expects  the act to have consequences in the state and derives substantial revenue from interstate or international commerce

3. Subpoenas for witnesses called by the state, including those issued by the Attorney General or an assistant attorney general, or by any public defense or assistant public defender acting in his official position may include this statement: ‘Notice to the person called: Your statutory fees as witnesses will be paid by the clerk of the court where you are summoned to testify if you present the clerk this subpoena on the day you attend. If you do to appear in court on the day and at the hour mentioned, or on the day and at the time to which your appearance may have been postponed or continued by order of an official of the court, the court may order that you be arrested.’

4. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-50 Conn. Gen. Stat. § 6- 38b(f) Conn. State Agencies § 6- 38b

5. CGS § 52-50

6. CGS § 52-45a

7. Conn. Gen. Stat. 6-38, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-50 Conn. Gen. Stat. § 6-38b Conn. State Agencies § 6- 38b

8. The regulation requires that ‘the examination shall include, but not be limited to the following subjects:
the functions of a state marshal, including service of process and execution; and
(2) familiarity with the applicable portions of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Connecticut Practice Book, and the commission’s regulations.’ Conn. State Agencies § 6-38(b)-3(b). Regulations also require the development of a training program and manual. Conn. State Agencies § 6-38(b)-4.

9. Regs., Conn. State Agencies § 6-38b-1 (2009) Sec. 6-38b-1. Qualifications

10. Regs., Conn. State Agencies § 6-38b-2 (2009)

Sec. 6-38b-2. Application

(a) The State Marshal Commission shall provide an application form for appointment as a state marshal.

(b) All applications for appointment as a state marshal shall be typewritten or hand-printed and submitted to the commission in the form referred to in subsection (a) of this section.

(c) All applications shall be submitted under oath, sworn before, and acknowledged by a notary public that the information given is true. All applications shall include the following information:

(1) All names by which the applicant has been known; (2) The applicant’s residence mailing address;
(3) The applicant’s residence telephone number;
(4) The applicant’s business mailing address;

(5) The applicant’s business telephone number;
(6) Whether the applicant is over the age of 21;
(7) The applicant’s Connecticut driver’s license number and expiration date;
(8) Whether the applicant is an elector in the county in which the vacancy occurs; (9) The applicant’s criminal convictions and any pending criminal charges;

(10) The applicant’s employment history for the five years immediately preceding the date of application;

(11) The names of three Connecticut residents who are not members of the applicant’s immediate or extended family or household, who can attest to the applicant’s good character;

(12) Whether the applicant is free from any physical, mental, or emotional disorder that would prevent him or her from performing the duties of a state marshal; and

(13) The applicant’s signature.
(d) The commission shall conduct a background investigation of an applicant to determine if the applicant possesses the qualifications set out in this section, including, but not limited to, criminal background checks and contact with references and current and/or former employers. All applications shall be accompanied by a fully executed authorization in a form to be provided by the commission authorizing the commission to access information concerning the applicant’s background.

(e) An applicant may be required to submit a letter from a physician stating whether he or she has any physical, mental, or emotional disorder that would prevent the person from performing the duties of a state marshal, or the commission may require the applicant to undergo a physical/mental examination.

11. For state marshals appointed under Section 6-38b of the Connecticut General Statutes, the commission must develop a statewide training program. This program’s teachers will be chosen by the commission following consultation with the State Marshal Advisory Board and will teach seminars on the duties and responsibilities of a state marshal.

12. (3) Each state marshal who removes a defendant under section 47a-42 of the Connecticut General Statutes or other occupant bound by a summary process judgment, and the possessions and personal effects of such defendant or another occupant, shall receive a fee of not less than eighteen dollars and seventy-five cents ($ 18.75).

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