This article will provide guidance on How To Serve legal papers in Maryland. An eighteen-year-old or older individual, including an attorney of record, may serve as a processor for a sheriff in Maryland. If a summons is issued, the plaintiff must provide the clerk with a copy of the complaint, a copy of each exhibit or other document filed with it, and a copy of the information for each summons. The individual seeking the sheriff’s Maryland Process Service must provide the clerk with as much information as possible about the person to be served, including the county where Maryland Process Service is to be performed. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

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Each defendant will be issued a summons and delivered to the sheriff or other person designated by the plaintiff immediately after the complaint is filed, with a copy of each document filed and an unsigned copy of the information report form needed to be submitted. There may be many summonses issued for a defendant if requested by the plaintiff. Click Here for information on What Do Process Servers in Maryland Do.

A sheriff from a different county may be called upon to serve the Maryland Process Service if it is to be served by the clerk. A person chosen by the party and authorized by the clerk may receive the Maryland Process Service if it is requested by that party to be personally delivered to the sheriff of another county at that party’s cost. Click here for information on  Maryland Rules of Civil Procedure

Only if it is served within sixty days after the day it was issued can a summons be used for Maryland Process Service. If a summons is not served within that period, it becomes dormant and may only be renewed by the plaintiff in writing. Click here for information on How To Identify A Good Process Service Agency


The clerk of the court will sign any Maryland Process Service documents that are issued by the court. It is required that a summons contain certain Maryland Process Service information, such as court name, requester’s contact information, complainant’s contact information, the date on which it was issued,  the deadline for service, a deadline for the defendant to respond to a complaint by way of pleading or motion, and notice to the defendant that failure has resulted in sanctions against them. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case

Process serving can be done in-state or out-of-state when permitted by law. Maryland Process Service can be accomplished by [A.] handing the person to be served a copy of the summons, complaint, and all other papers filed with it; or [B.] if the person to be served is an individual, by leaving a copy of the summons, complaint, and all other papers filed with it with an appropriate resident of another state. It is sufficient to produce a certificate of service as required. If the method of service stipulated by the court or the foreign authority is sufficiently suited to convey real notice outside the state, service outside the state may likewise be done in that way. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

For defendants who can be proven to have intentionally avoided Maryland Process Service, the court can order that the summons, complaint, and any other papers filed with it be sent to their last known residence or delivered to a person of appropriate age and discretion to be served at the defendant’s place of business[1]. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

Any alternative modes of Maryland Process Service may be authorized by legislation or regulation for acquiring jurisdiction over a defendant.

The summons and complaint may be served in any of many ways, including [A.] personally delivering the summons to the defendant; [B.] leaving one at the defendant’s residence or usual place of abode with a person of appropriate age and discretion; [C.]  providing one to an agent authorized by appointment; or [D.] any other forms of service that may be permitted by legislation or regulation for acquiring jurisdiction of a defendant are not excluded from the manner of service.


After filing a complaint or while the case is proceeding, an individual entitled to attachment before judgment may obtain an order ordering that the defendant’s property or credit be seized or garnished. Alternatively, the request may be made on the spot. As part of the request, the complainant must provide an affidavit proving the facts in the complaint and detailing the reasons for seeking a writ of mandate.

An attachment writ must be requested in the same proceeding as the complaint. In any subsequent actions, the complaint, the request for a writ of attachment, and any other related matters will be treated as single action and will be docketed as such.

The complaint, any documents, and the supporting affidavit will be examined by the court. The plaintiff may be required by the court to give further information on the property to be attached or to clarify or augment any of the things described in the papers. A bond must be filed by the plaintiff if the court deems that plaintiff is entitled to a writ of attachment[2].

If the person to be served is an individual, the summons, complaint, and all other papers filed with it may be served by leaving a copy of the summons, complaint, and all other papers filed with it at the individual’s dwelling house or usual place of abode with a resident of suitable age and discretion. If the person to be served is a corporation, Maryland Process Service may be done by delivering a copy of the summons, complaint, and all other papers filed with it to the corporation’s headquarters. When a certified postal delivery is made, the Maryland Process Service has been completed. If the method of service stipulated by the court or the foreign authority is sufficiently suited to convey real notice outside the state, service outside the state may likewise be done in that way.

The court may direct that Maryland Process Service be performed by sending a copy of the summons, complaint, and any other documents filed with it to the defendant at the defendant’s last known address and delivering a copy of each to a person of sufficient age and discretion at the defendant’s place of business.

Affidavits from the plaintiff and the defendant’s last known address must be submitted to the court in order for the court to order Maryland Process Service in an in rem or quasi-in rem action. The court may also order service by posting the notice at the courthouse door or on a bulletin board within its immediate vicinity or by publishing the notice at least once. Any other method of notification deemed acceptable by the court may also be used.

At least thirty days before the deadline for filing a response to the complaint, the complaint must be sent, posted, or published. Among other things, the notice must be signed by the clerk and include the case’s title, a description of the complaint’s content, and a list of the relief sought, as well as the latest date by which a response must be filed. It must also warn the defendant that failure to file a response by that date may result in a judgment by default or grant of the relief sought.

When a process has to be executed, the sheriff of the county in which the execution takes place must do so unless the court rules otherwise. The court may appoint an elisor to serve or execute the process if the sheriff is a party to or involved in the action to be disqualified from serving or executing the process. It must be in writing, signed by the court, and lodged with the clerk who issued the process. The elisor is entitled to the same fees and powers as the sheriff when it comes to serving and executing the Maryland Process Service for which they were appointed.


An entity may be served by serving its resident agent (the president, secretary, or treasurer), as well as its board of directors[3]. Maryland Process Service is effected upon a general partnership sued in its group name in action by serving any general partner.

This is different from a limited partnership. By serving the limited partnership’s resident agent, service is rendered. An approved general partner or another person who has the authority to accept Maryland Process Service may be served on behalf of the limited partnership if there is no resident agent or an effort to serve the resident agent has been made in good faith and failed.

A limited liability company or partnership will look toward the resident agent serving as the point of contact for Maryland Process Service. No resident agent or a good faith effort to serve the resident agent has been made; Maryland Process Service may be made upon any other person explicitly or impliedly authorized to accept Maryland Process Service, including the limited liability partnership itself.

The resident agent of a limited liability corporation is served as the point of contact for Maryland Process Service. If the limited liability corporation does not have a resident agent, or if a good faith effort to serve the resident agent has failed, Maryland Process Service may be performed on any member or other person explicitly or impliedly authorized to accept Maryland Process Service.

By serving any official or member of the governing board of an unincorporated organization sued in its group name, Maryland Process Service may be made. Any member of the organization may be served if there are no officials or a governing body.

The Attorney General of Maryland, or a person designated by the Attorney General in writing and filed with the court clerk, is served, as is the Secretary of State of Maryland. In every case in which an order issued by a state official or agency is challenged, the official or agency must be served as well.

Maryland Process Service on a Maryland official or agency, including a government business, is accomplished by delivery to the official or agency concerned. The United States is served by delivering the documents to the District of Maryland’s United States Attorney or a person designated by the United States Attorney in writing and filed with the court clerk, as well as by delivering the documents to the United States Attorney General in Washington, D.C. In every case an order issued by a United States official or agency is challenged, the officer or agency must be served.

Service to a U.S. official or agency, including a government company, is rendered by serving the country and the official or agency in question.


Court procedures, including those before an auditor, examiner, or master, need that a person is summoned to appear, testify, and provide prescribed papers or other physical objects. A subpoena is thus necessary to force a non-party to participate in the proceedings. Compel a party who has been granted jurisdiction in the court’s proceedings to appear, testify and provide papers or other physical evidence for inspection and copying throughout a deposition.

Anyone eligible to receive a subpoena may approach the clerk and ask for one, in which case the clerk may issue one or offer a blank form for the individual to fill out and return before it is served. It is up to the clerk to issue a signed and sealed but otherwise blank subpoena, which must be filled up before delivery if requested by an attorney or other official of the court.

In addition to the action’s title, the subpoena must include [A.] the name and address of the person to whom it is addressed; [B.] the name of the person who requested its issuance; the date, time, and location of the hearing; [C.] the nature of any documents or other tangible things to be produced; and [D.] a notice designating the person to testify.

An agent authorized by appointment or by law to accept service on behalf of an individual may obtain a copy of a subpoena. By law, a sheriff of any county may serve a subpoena, as well as anyone who is not a party to the case and is at least eighteen years old. At least five days before the trial or hearing, a party must make a good faith attempt to serve a trial or hearing subpoena.


Anyone who has been summoned to appear in court (including a master, auditor, or examiner) may move the court to enter an order necessary to protect them from inconvenience, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense if they do so promptly and, whenever possible, at or before the time stipulated in the subpoena for compliance[4].

A person with a subpoena to appear in a deposition may request a protective order[5]. A formal objection must be filed in writing, with a detailed explanation of why it is being raised. Subpoenaed documents may only be produced if the subpoenaed party files an objection to the court’s order that issued the subpoena. The party serving the subpoena may petition for an order to compel production at any time before or within fifteen days after the conclusion of the deposition and upon notice to the deponent.

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

Issuing an out-of-state subpoena pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Deposition and Discovery Act (UIDDA)-Maryland, 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 Maryland.

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 Maryland Process Service Coverage Areas, Click Here!

Contact us for more information about our process-serving agency. We are ready to provide New York City 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] Affidavits of good faith efforts to serve the defendant have failed, and service is either inapplicable or impractical; the court may order any other method of service that it deems appropriate in the circumstances and reasonably calculated to give actual notice.

[2] The bond must cover any expenses and damages awarded to the defendant or other property claimants due to attachment. Orders specify the amount of the bond, as well as how it will be secured.

[3] Service may be made by serving the manager, any director, vice president, assistant secretary/assistant treasurer, or another person expressly or impliedly authorized to receive process if the corporation, incorporated association, or joint-stock company does not have a resident agent or if a good faith effort to serve the resident agent, president, secretary or treasurer has failed.

[4] These orders include:

The subpoena be thrown out or changed;

The subpoena is complied with only at a time and place other than the one stated in the subpoena, or Documents and tangible things designated in the subpoena may be produced only if they are paid for in full by a party serving the subpoena; or (4) they may be delivered before or during a proceeding, subject to a further court order, to allow inspection of them.

[5] Subpoenas requiring the production of tangible objects, such as papers, are subject to Rule 2-403, which provides for a protective order or an objection to the production of some or all specified materials within ten days after serving the subpoena.


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