This article will provide guidance on How To Serve legal papers in South Dakota. For South Dakota Process Service, the fundamental requirement is that summons must be served and returned, with evidence of service, to the plaintiff’s attorney, if any, or to the plaintiff, if not. By endorsing the summons, the plaintiff or plaintiff’s counsel may specify a day and time for its service, and that date and time will be followed. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

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The summons must be legibly signed by the plaintiff and addressed to the defendant. South Dakota Process Service must require the defendant to respond to the complaint and serve a copy of their response. If they fail to respond, judgment by default may be rendered against them.  Click Here For Information on What Do Process Servers in South Dakota Do!

The summons does not need to be served with a copy of the complaint. If this is the case, the summons must specify the location of the complaint. It is required that a copy of a complaint be provided within twenty days after the summons is delivered if the complaint is not served with the summons, and a copy of the summons be served within thirty days of the summons being served. Click here for information on  South Dakota Rules of Civil Procedure

The defendant has thirty days to respond or take other action in response to the complaint once it has been served. There is no need to serve a separate copy of any document in action when a single attorney represents many parties unless the court explicitly instructs differently. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.

Anyone not a party to the lawsuit may serve a summons, including a sheriff or constable of a county or a similar political subdivision, or an officer of the United States Marshal Service in the District of Columbia, as long as they are an elector of a state. The summons must be served and returned, with evidence of South Dakota Process Service, to the plaintiff’s attorney, if any, or the plaintiff, if not. It is possible to set a time for the South Dakota Process Service of summons by affixing an endorsement to the summons, and the summons will be served accordingly. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

A copy of the summons will be delivered to the person to whom it is to be served. In cases where the action is against a domestic private company, South Dakota Process Service may be served on [A.] the president or other head of the corporation; [B.]the secretary; [C.] the cashier; [D.] the treasurer; [E.] a director; or the managing or [F.]  registered agent. It is possible to serve an officer, director, or agent of a corporation in this state by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint with the person in charge of the office where they are located in the sheriff returns the summons with their certificate that no such officer, director, or agent can easily be found in their county. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

If the action is against a county, the mayor, alderman, or commissioner may provide South Dakota Process Service to these individuals, unlike wherein an organized township or a school district would require service from the supervisor. If the action is against a third-class municipality, the trustee may conduct said South Dakota Process Service. On the commissioner of education and public lands and the attorney general, South Dakota Process Service is done in all situations concerning the title to property owned or held in trust by the state or any of its institutions, departments, or organizations. A copy of the summons and complaint, postage prepaid, must be sent to the attorney general, along with an admission of South Dakota Process Service and a return envelope, if the action is against a state officer, employee, or agent arising out of his office, employment, or agency. 

Suppose the action is against a private individual. In that case, the summons and complaint must be mailed to the individual’s home or place of business with an acknowledgment of South Dakota Process Service and a return envelope, postage prepaid. If the action is against a business with a fictitious name, the owner or other head of the business, secretary, cashier, or treasury will be served. However, if the action is against a business with a fictitious name, the owner or other head of the business, secretary, cashier, or treasury shall be served. In all other cases, the defendant shall be served personally.


The Secretary of State does not serve as an agent for South Dakota Process Service for domestic or foreign business corporations authorized to transact business. Rather, the corporation’s registered agent functions as the agent for service of process.

If an entity that previously filed a registered agent filing with the secretary of state no longer has a registered agent, or if its registered agent cannot with reasonable diligence be served, the entity may be served by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the governors of the entity by name at its principal office in accordance with any applicable judicial rules and procedures. The names of the governors and the address of the principal office may be as shown in the most recent annual report filed with the secretary of state.

Suppose the corporation is conducting business without an agent and service cannot be obtained pursuant to this section. In that case, the Secretary of State will act as the agent for South Dakota Process Service. In order to serve a summons, the Secretary of State must receive two copies of the signed and dated summons and complaint.  An address for the defendant must be provided together with payment of the USD30.00 fee.


The time, location, and method of South Dakota Process Service, publishing, and mailing of the summons and complaint, as well as any other document, must be shown by [A.] affidavits of the printer, their foreman, or principal clerk, or the publisher of the newspaper showing the same and an affidavit of mailing copies as required by law; [B.] written admission of the party or his representative upon whom service might have been made; [C.] in case of publication, by affidavit of the printer; and [D.] in case of mailing, by affidavits from both the printer and the publisher;

The court may, at any time, change any summons or other South Dakota Process Service or evidence of service unless it is obvious that the rights of the person against whom the South Dakota Process Service was issued will be adversely affected.

Even if a summons is served in accordance with different legislation, it may be done by sending a copy of the summons, two copies of the notice and admission of South Dakota Process Service, and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to the sender, to the defendant. Failure to return the notice and admission of service within twenty days after mailing without good reason will result in a court judgment requiring the person served to pay the expenses of personal service. When a defendant fails to return the proof of service within twenty days after mailing, the court will mandate that the defendant pays for the expenses of personal service.

The summons contained is served in accordance with South Dakota Process Service laws. Upon receipt, it is imperative to fill out the admission section of the proof of service form and return one copy to the sender within twenty days of receiving it. This document must be signed and dated by the receiver. A corporation, unincorporated organization (including partnerships), or other entity must be identified beneath their signature if it is being served on behalf of the receiver. If they are being served on behalf of someone else and they have the power to accept South Dakota Process Service, the individual must make a note of that authority beneath their signature. Any fees spent in serving a summons in any other way authorized by law may be charged to the receiver or the person on whose behalf they are being served if they do not return the form to the sender within twenty days. 


On the request of any person with an issue or matter pending in court or before such an agency, officer, or tribunal, any public official or agency in any case before them may issue a subpoena for a witness or witnesses.

To compel the attendance of a witness, as well as for the production, inspection, and reproduction of documents and exhibits, any attorney of record who has been duly admitted to practice law in South Dakota may issue a subpoena in any case in which they are the record attorney for any party in a civil or criminal action or proceeding or a collateral hearing. Attorneys are required to provide a copy of their subpoena to the court clerk or the secretary or other filing officer of any board or tribunal where the case is now standing for filing. Such a copy shall be filed as a public record of the action or procedure by such an officer. When served with a subpoena, an individual will be required to appear and provide evidence at a certain time and location at the direction of the court, tribunal, or other body to whom the subpoena is addressed. If the testimony of the witness is needed for someone or something, the name of that person or thing must be stated. If the document is issued by a court or official with a seal, the original and all copies must have the seal. Attorneys may issue subpoenas on behalf of their clients. The subpoenas must be signed and confirmed by the attorney, identifying the party for whom the attorney is acting as an attorney of record. Documentary evidence must be produced in response to a subpoena.

However, the court has the power to quash or modify a subpoena if it is unreasonable and oppressive or to condition denial of the motion on advancement by the person on whose behalf the subpoena is issued upon a motion made promptly and in any event before the time specified in the subpoena for compliance.


South Dakota Process Service may be served by any officer or person who is competent to serve a summons. No South Dakota Process Service by publication is allowed for the subpoena. If a witness is summoned to testify, they must be served with a subpoena in a timely manner so they may travel to the location by any means of transportation.

At the moment of serving of a subpoena, the fees for one day’s attendance and the distance permitted by law should be presented to or on behalf of the individual specified. Subpoenaed person’s payment, or their written waiver, must be included in the return. The witness will not be required to comply with the subpoena if the required costs and mileage are not paid or waived.

After the first day, a subpoenaed witness has the right to demand payment of their attendance costs and will not be forced to stay in court if they do not get it. Fees and mileage are not required if the subpoena is issued on behalf of the State of South Dakota or its political subdivisions or an official or agency of the state.

When a person or the clerk of courts of the county where the deposition is to be taken provides proof of service of the notice to take a deposition, it is sufficient authority to issue subpoenas to those individuals named or described in those provisions. 

Anyone who has been served with a summons may, within ten days of the serving of the summons or, if the period for compliance is shorter than ten days after service, on or before that time, serve a written objection to viewing or copying of any or all papers on the attorney named in the summons. There is no right for the person delivering the subpoena to view or copy any documents unless a court order is in place from which a copying order was issued if the deponent objects to the subpoena, the party issuing the subpoena may request an order at any point before or during the deposition.

This state’s residents are only needed to attend an examination in the county in which they dwell or where they work or conduct their business in person if an order of the court specifies that location. It is permitted for a non-resident to be summoned to appear only in the county in which he was served the subpoena or at such other convenient location as the court orders.

When a non-resident of this state is served with a subpoena in South Dakota, they must comply. This is under the condition that the mileage required to be paid to such witness and this will be computed from the place where service of the subpoena was made to the place where the witness is expected to attend. 

how to domesticate an OUT-OF-STATE SUBPOENA in south dakota

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

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, or uploaded to our website. We do require prepayment 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 will be received by our receptionist.


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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. Anyone who is not a party to the lawsuit may serve a summons, including a sheriff or constable of a county or a similar political subdivision, or an officer of the United States Marshal Service in the District of Columbia, as long as they are an elector of a state.

2. If any legislation or regulation specifies the form of summons for any action, remedy, or special procedure, it must be employed. The summons should be delivered with the complaint.

3. An elector of any state may serve the summons if the defendant to be served is a Native American who lives on said land.

4. If the action is against a minor, the parent or guardian may serve on the school board or board of education

If the action is against a person judicially declared to be mentally incompetent, or who is a patient at an institution for persons with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities, or for whom a guardian has been legally appointed, upon such guardian or conservator, and upon the administrator or superintendent of such institutions for persons with men with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities.

5. Such service may also be made on a guardian ad litem if one has been appointed.

6. If no official or employee is chosen, the Governor and attorney general are the final arbiters in all cases, save those concerning ownership of such property.

7. Laws in this state that mandate service of legal process on parties who are not residents or are not located in the state must be carried out in accordance with those laws.

8. It is the responsibility of the receiver to respond to this notice within thirty days of receipt of the form


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