This article will provide guidance on How To Serve legal papers in Louisiana. Louisiana Process Service may be performed at any time or night, including on Sundays and public holidays. There must be a proper official present in order to make personal service of a citation or other Louisiana Process Service. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

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When a proper official leaves the citation or other Louisiana Process Service at the residence or habitual place of habitation to be served, a person of appropriate age and discretion who resides in the domiciliary establishment will usually receive said service. Click Here for information on What Do Process Servers in Louisiana Do?

To serve a summons or other process at a person’s residence, a proper official must leave the summons or other Louisiana Process Service at the person’s home or residence. A person’s place of birth remains with them till they move to a new place. Physical presence in the new location and the current intention to stay there permanently are required for a change of domicile[1]. Click here for information on Louisiana Rules of Civil Procedure.


A person is served by personal or domiciliary service on a representative appointed by the court, by operation of law, or by mandate[2].  The secretary of an attorney might be served Louisiana Process Service at the attorney’s office as a representative of a client[3]. Click here for information on How To Identify A Good Process Service Agency

The warden or their designee[4] for that shift performs Louisiana Process Service on behalf of an individual who is jailed in a jail or detention institution. It is up to the warden or their designated representative to serve the detained individual Louisiana Process Service on a personal basis. The affidavit of the person who served the citation and pleadings on the jailed individual serves as proof of service. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.

Personal service on an individual who is named in pleadings in more than one capacity, including but not limited to as an individual, tutor, or a representative of a legal or quasi-legal entity, is sufficient to constitute Louisiana Process Service on that individual in all capacities, including but not limited to as an individual, tutor, or a representative of a legal or quasi-legal entity. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

After five days, if the sheriff has not served the Louisiana Process Service, a party may request that any person over the age of majority, who is not involved in the case, be appointed to serve Louisiana Process Service on their behalf, as long as the person does so within the state of residence. In the same way that each other facts in the case must be shown, so must the Louisiana Process Service. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

Louisiana Process Service might be applicable for both domestic and international companies. Personal service of citation or other Louisiana Process Service on a domestic or foreign business may be made on any of its agents for process service. If a company fails to designate an agent for Louisiana Process Service, or if no registered agent is available due to the corporation’s termination, resignation, or removal, Louisiana Process Service may be made via personal service on any of the company’s employees who are of legal age and discretion,  or if the company is governed by R.S. 13:3201, by serving of Louisiana Process Service as per the requirements[5].

It is permitted to serve Louisiana Process Service on the secretary of state or someone in their office authorized to accept Louisiana Process Service on companies if the officer doing service declares that they are unable, despite diligent endeavor, to obtain Louisiana Process Service. This citation will be sent to the corporation’s last known address by the secretary of state.

Personal service on a partner is used to serve citations on a partnership or perform any other procedure. Personal service may be performed on any employee of appropriate age and discretion at any location where the partnership’s business is routinely done if the officer certifies that they are unable, despite diligent endeavor, to provide this service.

Personal service on an individual who is named in pleadings in more than one capacity, including but not limited to as an individual, tutor, or a representative of a legal or quasi-legal entity, is sufficient to constitute service of process on that individual in all capacities, including but not limited to as an individual, tutor, or a representative of a legal or quasi-legal entity.

A foreign corporation or foreign limited liability company that is not required by law to appoint an agent for the Louisiana Process Service, but has engaged in business activity in this state, maybe serve on any employee or agent of the corporation or limited liability company of suitable accountability for Louisiana Process Service in action or proceeding on a cause of action resulting from such business activity in this state or for any taxes due or other obligations arising therefrom.

The officer tasked with serving the papers must report back to the court if they are unable to serve the papers because the employees or agents involved have left the state or cannot be located despite their best efforts. Then, the court will direct that Louisiana Process Service be made on the secretary of state or on any other official in their office designated by the secretary of state to accept Louisiana Process Service.

The secretary of state will then determine the corporation or limited liability company’s domiciliary post office address and send the original papers served to the corporation or limited liability company by registered mail, with a return receipt requested to the corporation or limited liability company. True copies of these documents must be kept on file by the secretary of state. They will make a note of the service’s date, time, and place, as well as the final destination of the original documents.

As with a citation, a subpoena must be served and returned in the same way and with the same effect. Service of a subpoena on a party’s attorney of record is permitted when the party is called as a witness. For non-residents, the court may direct Louisiana Process Service to be performed on an attorney at law designated if service by registered or certified mail or physical delivery is not possible.

It is the same as delivering a personal service to the defendant in this state if the process is served. Either local or international business entities that specialize in the transport of mail and packages of any kind are considered ‘commercial couriers’.

After the letter or item has been delivered, the recipient or representative must sign a delivery receipt[6].  If there is no date on the acceptance of service, it is effective as of the day it is filed with the court. As long as the law or local court regulations allow for delays, acceptance of service will not influence these timeframes.

A citation or other legal procedure is conclusive if the officer who served it returns it. By regulation, such documentation may be launched before judgment in a lawsuit or Louisiana Process Service. 

A challenge to a return filed after a judgment may only be raised in the originating action or procedure in order to have the verdict vacated. An amendment on a regulation sought against and tried against the defendant who was served or any other person impacted by the amendment is possible if the defendant was served[7].

For any civil action or process following service of the initial petition, service of pleadings, papers, or notifications may also be done through telephonic facsimile communication device delivery to an attorney of record in the event that the attorney keeps such equipment at his office. When service is performed, the gadget is already in use. A certificate of service is a document filed in the court file by the party or attorney who performs service in accordance with the terms of this agreement.

In all cases where Louisiana Process Service on a foreign company may be made via the secretary of state, this Louisiana Process Service can be made in person by the secretary of state anywhere in the state of Louisiana[8]. The secretary of state’s assistant secretary of state, or any person authorized by the secretary of state to accept Louisiana Process Service in their absence, may be served if they are not present in the office[9]. This kind of Louisiana Process Service has the same impact as if it were performed directly on the secretary of state.

To ensure that the petition and citation are properly served on the defendant, the nonresident, the executors or administrators of the deceased nonresident, or the nonresident liability insurer of the vehicle, the secretary of state or their successor in office must be served with a copy of the petition and citation. Such continuances as may be required for the defendant to have a reasonable chance to defend the case may be granted by the court.

A constable or court-appointed officer is used to carrying out Louisiana Process Service when the sheriff is unable to do so. The sheriff is not considered to be a concerned party in the case. However,  to serve legal processes where the sheriff of a parish has an interest in the matter being litigated, there must be a regular constable in that parish, or the court may appoint a special constable to serve in his or her place if there is no sheriff in office. This constable or officer will have all of the sheriff’s powers, receive all of the emoluments, and be accountable for all of the sheriff’s duties in action. If a constable or deputy constable cannot or will not perform said duties, the sheriff or a deputy sheriff is called in to take their place. A special deputy constable is then named[10].


It is sufficient to serve the petition and citation on any non-resident by serving a copy on the secretary of state, or his successor in office, as long as the plaintiff sends a notice of service to the defendant as soon as possible via registered mail or delivers the petition and citation to the defendant[11]. By registered mail or affidavit of the party that delivered the petition, return receipts for notices are issued to defendants. Non-residents must be served with the citation in the proceedings before a judgment may be issued against them. Such continuances as may be required for the defendant to have a reasonable chance to defend the case may be granted by the court.

The secretary of state may be served with any other legal procedure. The secretary of state must be served with any process other than a citation in accordance with R.S. 13:3479. Any such non-resident will be satisfied with this level of care[12].

To serve summonses and other processes in circumstances where the defendant is not domiciled in a certain parish, service must be done by sending the summonses and other processes to an agent, overseer, or manager of the defendant’s factor.

The sheriff is not liable for constable marshal’s travel or shipping charges if the procedure is sent to them through the mail. The sheriff may mail the process to be served to one of his deputies, a constable of a justice of the peace court, or a constable or marshal of a city court if the location where service is to be made is more than ten miles from the sheriff’s office and the party at whose instance service is to be made has requested it. Any deputy, constable, or marshal who performs service in compliance with this section must file a report detailing the manner in which service was performed and send it to the sheriff to be filed in the issuing court.

If a party requests Louisiana Process Service, the sheriff may only charge the deputy, constable, or marshal’s actual mileage from their residence or office to the location where service is to be performed and back[13]. Sheriffs are not held accountable for constables’ or marshals’ performance or lack thereof when it comes to serving and returning documents as a result of the process served on them.

No defense to nonresident attachment exists until the Secretary of State is notified of the appointment of an agent for process service by a nonresident person or partnership. There is no defense to a property attachment based on the non-residence of the defendant unless a formal notice of such appointment has been filed with the secretary of state, giving out the name and address of the agent in question. The secretary of state is required to retain a record of all appointments, including the dates of such appointments, on hand for public examination.


A subpoena in Louisiana will be served, and a return will be made in the same manner and with the same effect as a service of and return on a citation. When a party is summoned as a witness, service of the subpoena may be made by personal service on the witness’ attorney of record.


The most significant lawsuit includes the subpoena of witnesses, documents, or information in greater than one state. Nevertheless, out-of-state subpoenas cannot be served in Louisiana until they’ve been properly domesticated[14].

Suppose a party wants an out-of-state subpoena to be issued. In that case, the clerk of court of the parish where discovery is to be performed must be presented with the original or a certified copy of a foreign subpoena. Requesting the issue of a subpoena does not constitute a court appearance in the state of Louisiana.

After receiving a foreign subpoena, the clerk of court is required to issue a subpoena for service on the individual to whom the foreign subpoena is sent in accordance with the procedures of that court[15].


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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New York: (212) 203-8001 – 590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, New York 10022
Brooklyn: (347) 983-5436 – 300 Cadman Plaza West, 12th Floor, Brooklyn, New York 11201
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Washington DC: (202) 655-4450 – 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Suite 300, Washington DC 20004


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 Louisiana process service needs; no job is too small or too large!  For a complete list of our Louisiana 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] Establishing a domicile is based on the real status of facts, not what one claims to be. Case: Pattan v. Fields, 669 So.2d 1233, writ refused at 661 So.2d 1341, 1342 (La. 1 Cir. 1995)

[2] To accept service on behalf of his stepfather for notice of default judgment, an 11-year-old was of legal age and discretion. In order to determine whether the youngster was old enough and competent enough to do duty, the deputy asked a series of questions. Rall, 607 So.2d 716, First National Bank of Jefferson Parish v. (App. 4 Cir., 1992).

[3] ‘Secretary’ is defined in this article as the person assigned to a certain attorney and tasked with the execution of that portion of the attorney’s work, including record keeping, sending and receiving correspondence, and creating and monitoring the attorney’s schedule

[4] Servicing a jailed person is covered by Article 1235.1

[5] Service on a Louisiana company by leaving a copy of the petition with its registered agent’s wife at her address was found to be inadequate, and the proceedings that resulted in a default judgment against the corporation were declared null and void. Clifton Briley and Service Electric of Louisiana, Inc. v. 479 So.2d 691 (App. 3 Cir., 1985).

[6] Has no stake in the outcome of the topic addressed in the letter or package?

[7] Process served by a sheriff or constable must be returned as quickly as feasible to the court that issued the process. An official book is given for this purpose, and the serving officer is required to maintain a comprehensive record of all actions taken. Under R.S. 13:3471, the entries in this book must be accepted and acknowledged in the absence of the original return if the original return is lost or destroyed (5).

[8] This provision is inclusive under any legislation previously or later passed

[9] The secretary of state must be served; notice and copies must be sent or delivered; a receipt or affidavit must be filed, and continuances may be granted.

[10] if the constable or a legally authorized deputy constable is unable or refuses to perform due to relationship, illness, or other factors in civil cases. The sheriff or his deputy, or a special deputy constable, may be used by the justices of the peace to carry out any orders, citations, summonses, seizures, and writs in civil actions, including conservatory writs.

[11] This is in accordance with R.S. 13:3479

[12] Non-residents are not affected by any provisions of R.S. 13:3479 through 13:3481 since the laws now govern them are unaffected.

[13] There may be additional charges for shipping costs if service is performed in accordance with this section.

[14] Revised Statutes

TITLE 13 – Courts and Judicial Procedure

RS 13:3825 – Louisiana Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act

LA Rev Stat § 13:3825

[15] Identify the caption and case number of the out-of-state case to which it relates and incorporate the terms used in the foreign subpoena.

(b) State the name of the court in this state which has issued it with an identifying number.

(c) Contain or be accompanied by the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all counsel of record in the proceeding to which the subpoena relates and of any party not represented by counsel.


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