This article will provide guidance on How To Serve legal papers in Kentucky. Kentucky Process Service may be made upon any individual out of this state. However, restrictions are implicated on an unmarried infant, a person of unsound mind, or a prisoner. Kentucky Process Service can be meted out by [A.]   certified mail in the manner[1]  or [B.] by personal delivery of a copy of the summons and complaint by a person over eighteen years of age. Kentucky Process Service can also be done by any initiating document. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

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In order to be summoned, a person must first be issued a summons. The clerk must issue summons immediately upon receipt of the complaint (or other originating documents) and, at the instruction of the initiating party, by placing a copy of the summons in an envelope to the party.  Courts in the federal system employ ‘clerks of court,’ who are employed by judges and are responsible for overseeing the administration of the court. This includes the Supreme Court, United States Courts of Appeal, United States District Courts, and other Article III courts. Clerks are also responsible for maintaining court exhibits, keeping track of court money, supervising non-judiciary employees, and offering support to the court’s judges, among many other responsibilities. The proceedings of the court are recorded by a court reporter. Click Here for information on What Do Process Servers in Kentucky Do?

The county clerk has long served as the official court clerk in several state trial courts as a cost-cutting approach. Ex officio county clerk duties, such as those of county recorder, auditor, and so on, have been implemented in other states with similar success. Click here for information on Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure

In an envelope,  it is required to place a copy of the summons and complaint (or other initiating documents) to be served and affix adequate postage. Any address provided should ensure that the envelope to the person served is directed towards the captioned or written address provided by the initiating party. Thereinafter, the plaintiff directing the Kentucky Process Service may then mail the sealed envelope through the United States Postal Service as either registered mail or certified mail with the return receipt requested and instructions to the deponent. Click here for information on How To Identify A Good Process Service Agency

When the clerk gets the return receipt, they must write a comparable notation on the docket. It is the clerk’s responsibility to record any returns with an endorsement indicating failure of delivery on the docket. The clerk is responsible for keeping track of the returned receipt or envelope. Once the envelope is delivered, Kentucky Process Service by registered mail or certified mail is accomplished. The return receipt will serve as documentation of the date, time, and method of delivery. An authorized representative of a government office may be deemed to have served an officer when they receive and sign for mail addressed exclusively to that office, as long as the rules of the United States Postal Service allow it. The starting party is responsible for paying all mailing charges. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.

Alternatively, Kentucky Process Service may be enacted when there is a  transfer of the summons and complaint (or other originating documents), with all required copies, to any person authorized to serve the summons and accompanying papers. This step also will serve as verification of the period and manner in which the individual served said Kentucky Process Service. Each individual to be served may be issued a summons for Kentucky Process Service in any county, as well as a separate or an extra summons at the request of the initiating party. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

The summons is always issued in the name of the Commonwealth, is dated and signed by the clerk, contains the name of the court and the style and number of the action, and is directed to each defendant, notifying them that a legal action has been filed against them and that unless a written defense is made by them or by an attorney on their behalf within twenty days following the day on which the summons is served on them a judgment may issue against them for the relief demanded. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

Proof of Kentucky Process Service of summons must be provided to the court as soon as possible and in any case within the time frame in which the summons recipient must react. There must be one Kentucky Process Service for both the summons and complaint (or other originating documents). The initiating party is responsible for supplying the person performing Kentucky Process Service with any required copies.

In order to serve a summons and complaint (or other initiating documents) on an individual in this Commonwealth other than an unmarried infant or a person of unsound mind, the summons and complaint (or other initiating documents) must be delivered to them personally or, if acceptance is refused, to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive Kentucky Process Service[2].

An officer or managing agent of a partnership or unincorporated organization liable to litigation under a common name, or an agent authorized to accept service on their behalf by appointment or legislation, will be served with Kentucky Process Service.

Serving an officer or managing agent of the company, the principal agent in the nation in which the action is instituted, or any other person authorized by appointment or legislation to accept service on its behalf, is sufficient Kentucky Process Service for a corporation.

A majority of the time, Kentucky Process Service on a nonresident individual who does business in this state or on a resident individual who conducts business via an office or agency may be accomplished by serving the person in charge thereof[3].

Any authority empowered to serve civil process on an employee by law is not necessary to be admitted inside a company’s plant or shop. It does not matter whether the summons is in connection with a civil or divorce case if the official refuses to depart after being asked to do so.

By serving the Attorney-General or any assistant attorney-general, Kentucky Process Service on the Commonwealth or any agency thereof can then be made.

The county judge or, in the event that they are not present in the county, the county attorney must be served with the summons and complaint. A city’s chief executive officer or official attorney must be served as proof of service. Except for governmental agencies, all public service must be performed as a member of the board or organization.

Non-residents are served summonses by the Secretary of State[4]. It is the responsibility of the registered agent of a foreign company allowed to do business in Kentucky to be the Kentucky Process Service agent[5]. Unlike most other states, it is not the responsibility of the Secretary of State to handle all business with state entities. This position is filled by the office of the Attorney General.

There should be two copies of the summons for Kentucky Process Service, both signed and dated, as well as two copies of the complaint, both attested (stamped certified that it is a true copy) by the court clerk. Additionally, it is necessary to include the appropriate fee (USD 10 per defendant if service is by certified mail or registered mail or USD16.00 per defendant if service is by restricted certified mail); and the address of each defendant to be served[6].

Persons over the age of eighteen may personally deliver a copy of the summons and complaint (or another initiating document) to someone who is not a resident of this state[7]. In order to prove service, either the return receipt indicated or affidavit of the person serving the summons, which states when and where Kentucky Process Service was done as well as their personal knowledge of the person served, must be attached to or attached to the summons as proof. For all other reasons, however, the person summoned will appear in court as if they had been personally served, even if they do not have to present Kentucky Process Service.

The Secretary of State must send a copy of the summons and complaint to the defendant within seven (7) days of receipt of the summons and complaint in their office. The Secretary of State’s return address must be included on the letter, which must be sent via certified mail, return receipt requested. In addition to the ordinary court returns, the Secretary of State is required to submit a return to the court demonstrating that the activities authorized by this legislation have been completed, together with any registry receipts that may have been issued. When the Secretary of State returns, the summons will be considered served, and the action will continue in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure as well as Kentucky Process Service.


Every subpoena for Kentucky Process Service must be issued by the clerk or another authorized official, who must indicate the name of the court and the name of the case in order to require anybody to whom the subpoena is addressed to appear and testify at the time, place, and on behalf of the party stated in the subpoena. It is the responsibility of the party who requests Kentucky Process Service to fill up and return a signed but otherwise blank subpoena, or a subpoena for production of documentary or other physical evidence, to the clerk or other authorized authority. In a deposition, hearing, or trial, the only reason for issuing subpoenas is to compel the presence of a witness and the production of documents or other physical evidence. Documents may be provided without a deposition if the Court orders and the parties agree.

A subpoena may also order the individual to whom it is addressed to produce the specified books, papers, documents, or physical goods. In any event, when a subpoena is issued, a motion to quash or modify the subpoena must be made promptly and within the period specified in that subpoena; otherwise, the motion may be denied if the cost of producing the books, papers, documents, or tangible things is unreasonable and oppressive.

The summons and complaint (or other initiating Kentucky Process Service document) may be personally delivered by an adult over eighteen to an individual outside Kentucky. Affidavits by the person who served the summons, either on or attached to the summons, must state the time and location of service, as well as the fact that the individual served was personally known to the person who served the summons. For all other reasons, the summoned individual will appear before the courts in the same manner as in the event of a personal appearance.

In answer to a subpoena, or lieu of proceedings thereunder, any papers received in response to the subpoena should be immediately provided to all other parties in the case, save on motion and for a good reason proven. All other parties to the case have immediate access to any additional physical evidence acquired in response to the subpoena (or in lieu of Kentucky Process Service requirements thereunder).

how to domesticate an OUT-OF-STATE SUBPOENA in kentucky

Issuing an out-of-state subpoena pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Deposition and Discovery Act (UIDDA)-Kentucky, the clerk of the court in the county where discovery is to be performed in this state must be presented with a foreign subpoena before it may be requested that a subpoena be issued under this section. Subpoenas issued under this law do not obligate a person to appear in court in Kentucky.

Second, the clerk of a court in this state must swiftly issue a summons to the person to whom the international subpoena is sent, in line with that court’s process.

A subpoena issued for a foreign defendant must include: [A.]   the terminology appropriate for the subpoena from abroad; and [B.]  part of the subpoena, it must include or be accompanied with the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all counsel of record and of any party that is not represented by counsel.


Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed, mailed, or dropped off at any of our locations. We do require pre-payment and accept all major credit and debit cards. Once payment is processed, your sales receipt is immediately emailed for your records.

Drop-offs must call and make an appointment first to be added to building security to permit access to our office. Documents for service must be in a sealed envelope with payment in the form of a money order or attorney check (WE DO NOT ACCEPT CASH) payable to UNDISPUTED LEGAL INC.; All documents are received by our receptionist.


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Pick up the phone and call Toll Free (800) 774-6922, or click the service you want to purchase. Our dedicated team of professionals is ready to assist you. We can handle all your process service needs; no job is too small or too large!  For a complete list of our Kentucky Process Service Coverage Areas, Click Here!

Contact us for more information about our process-serving agency. We are ready to provide service of process to all our clients globally from our offices in New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C.

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[1]Rule 4.01 (1) (a)

[2] The plaintiff may serve an unmarried infant or a person of unsound mind by serving their resident guardian or committee if one is known to him; if not, he may serve either his father or mother in this state; if neither is present, he may serve the person in this state who has control of the individual. The clerk will designate a practicing attorney as a guardian ad litem if there are no such individuals listed above. This section specifies that if any of the people specified in this order are plaintiffs, the person who is not a plaintiff should be served first in the order.

[3] A party who may be served constructively under Rule 4.05.

An individual who is a non-resident of this state, or (b) a corporation or partnership or unincorporated association that is subject to suit under a common name, or (c) an individual who has been absent from the state for four months or who has departed therewith with the intention of delaying or delaying, or (d) an individual who is a non-resident of this state and known or believed to be absent therefrom.

[4] Under KRS 454.210, KRS 188.020, and KRS 304.3-230, the foreign insurers’ act

[5] For inactive foreign organizations, the Secretary of State acts as an agent under KRS 14A.9-060 and 14A.9-080.

[6] Under KRS 453.190 and 403.740, emergency protection orders and petitions in forma pauperis are free of charge for those who provide adequate papers signed by the court establishing their pauper status

[7] With the exception of an unmarried baby, a person of unsound mind, or a prisoner, in accordance with Rule 4.01 (1) (a)


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