PROCESS SERVER REQUIREMENTS ACCORDING TO THE STATES

Some states have an additional requirement wherein the server needs to be registered in a particular county or a state to serve the documents. However, since not all states actually require registration and/or licensing, mandatory training is not the norm.

[1.0] FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS 

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow for personal service on an individual, which means that a copy of the summons and complaint can be left at the party’s residence which is of adequate age and discretion or by delivering the papers to an agent who is authorized by appointment or law in this capacity. Service of process in cases filed in the United States district courts is additionally governed by Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Each jurisdiction has rules regarding the appropriate service of process. Generally, the service of summons allows for the jurisdiction of the relevant court on them. The individual is thus subject to the jurisdiction, provided that the state where the district court is located has been joined under federal rules and has served the documents within a hundred miles from the place where the summons was issued or when a federal statute authorizes such service. However, if under federal rule, personal jurisdiction can be established if the defendant is not subject to general jurisdiction in any state court and if such exercise of jurisdiction is consistent with the United States laws.  However, the action’s dismissal can be done without prejudice to the defendant if they have not been served within 120 days of the complaint being filed. Consequently, hiring a capable process server is necessary to ensure that an individual can carry out process service without tampering with the confidential documents served.

[2.0] STATES WITH STATEWIDE LICENSING LAWS

A. ALASKA PROCESS SERVICE

Alaskan process servers are required to procure a valid license actually to become a process server. Applicants must furnish a surety bond to be licensed. Additionally, a written examination needs to be passed since the bond itself applied to theft arising out of levies and executions.

Process servers must be licensed by the Alaska Commissioner of Public Safety, who oversees the procedure insofar as it is the duty of the Commissioner Of Public Safety to provide for the proper service of process issued by the supreme court and all lower state courts.

Alaskan requirements for process service are high, requiring the server to be at least 21 to serve documents. To qualify for a process server license, the person must be a United States citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residency. It is necessary to prove residence in the state for at least  30  days immediately preceding the application’s data. It is also highly recommended to have a business license and ‘good moral character’ to be a server,  though a valid municipal business license can also be mandated. The license is also verified after the completion of the relevant background investigation. The license requires that the applicant be free from any mental or emotional disorder that may affect performance as a process server.

A person may not be licensed as a process server if they have been convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor crime involving abuse or assault; or of a misdemeanor crime involving dishonesty or fraud or is doing business under a name that is identical to the name under which a different process server is licensed, or is so similar to it as to create confusion or mislead a reasonable person.

Statutory qualifications and bond requirements.

13 AAC 67.920. delineates bond requirements.  The applicant needs to file the surety bond for liability coverage in case of fraud, misappropriation or commingling of funds, abuse of process, and malicious prosecution.   The minimum amount is USD 15,000., which cannot be canceled unless a notice period of thirty days is given to the department. It is also necessary for the surety to designate their attorney with a power of attorney as filed with the department to execute the bond. A firm can cover each of their process servers with a single bond of a minimum amount of USD60,000 as long as a  certificate of the bond must be filed with each employee’s application for licensure. However, if there are eight or more process servers, the process serving firm the single surety bond’s minimum amount is adjusted to be  USD100,000. A certificate of the bond must be filed with each employee’s application for a license.

If, by any chance,  a process server is removed from coverage by a firm’s bond, the firm shall immediately notify the department in writing. Notification must also be submitted if a process server is not eligible to be covered by a firm’s bond or is terminated due to a violation that is a cause for license revocation. These servers are required to return their license immediately after termination. However, it can be returned if the server submits proof of the required bond and other eligibility requirements within 90 days. 

Sources:

Alaska Administrative Code: Title 13. Public Safety: 67.30:

issued under AS 43.70;

13 AAC 67.020. PROCESS SERVER QUALIFICATIONS.

B. ARIZONA PROCESS SERVICE

Arizona has a state-wide registration of process servers in compliance with procedures set forth by the Arizona Supreme Court. There is no necessity for a bond, but Arizona servers need to be  21 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, pass their FBI background check, and pay for and pass the state licensing test given in the county of their residence. An affidavit and a criminal background check are also required to qualify to be a process server.

To be eligible to act as a private process server in Arizona, all persons must be certified and comply with the requirements of the Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 11, the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, administrative orders, and the administrative rules adopted by the Arizona Supreme Courts

Sources:

 Arizona Code of Judicial Administration, Private Process Server – § 7-204, Rule 4(e) and Arizona Revised Statute § 11-445.

Ariz. R. Civ. P. 4(d):Ariz. Code of Judicial Admin. § 7-204(E)(2)(c)

C. CALIFORNIA PROCESS SERVICE

 Registration is state-wide, and applicants must be residents of the State of California for one year immediately preceding filing. There is no testing or education required, but each applicant is required to post a $2,000 bond or cash deposit. Qualifying individuals for these requirements serve more than ten papers a year in their relevant county.

Individuals need to be of age (eighteen)and cannot have a criminal history. This includes a felony conviction.  Registration but no education is typical in California since the county clerks administer it. County procedures and practices vary.

Sources:

California Business and Professions Code §22350 and §22353

Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 22350

D. ILLINOIS PROCESS SERVICE

While there is no actual state-wide licensing law in Illinois, a process server’s requirements can be complex in this state. In fact, Cook County [Chicago] imposes additional guidelines, complicating licensing requirements.

Licencing in Illinois includes being a private detective. This means that a “private detective” licensed in Illinois may serve the original process in all counties except for Cook County without a designated appointment. A private detective agency is most often appointed serve process. However, private individuals over the age of eighteen can specifically be appointed to serve the original process upon the court’s motion.

Individuals who are not a private agency are required to [A.] provide legal photo identification [B.] complete an application for appointment filed at the resident county court, [C.] undergo a criminal background check, and [D.] pay for the processing and fingerprinting fees.

Cook County required private detective agencies to be appointed by the court on the motion as a special process server.

Sources:

Home: New Website for the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court. (n.d.). Retrieved November 11, 2020, from http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/NewWebsite

E. MONTANA PROCESS SERVICE

Service of all process is done in the county where the party to be served is found by a sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, or any other person over 18 and is not a party to the action. However, any individual with more than ten services in a year needs to be registered, allowing them to act as a levying officer.

The individual applying for process server must not have been convicted in any jurisdiction of any felony or any crime involving moral turpitude or illegal use or possession of a dangerous weapon, for which a full pardon or similar relief has not been granted.  Furthermore, it is necessary that they have not been judicially declared incompetent because of any mental defect or disease or suffering from habitual drunkenness or narcotic dependence. They also need to be of good moral character. 

The surety bond is necessary for Montana. The bond can be around USD10 000 for a person of USD 100,000 for a firm. However, a written exam needs to be passed to actually become a process server in compliance with the Handbook of Process Servers as assembled by the Montana Department of Labour and Industry.

Private investigators and process servers may complete continuing legal education (CLE) approved by a state bar on their respective operations’ legal topics. A renewal application can be made as long as there have been eight hours of CLE in the past year.

Sources: 

Administrative Rules of Montana rule number 24.182.2103 and rule number 24.182.2101

Mont. Code Ann. § 37-60- 303: License or registration qualifications.

F. NEVADA PROCESS SERVICE 

License requirements in Nevada are mandatory for everyone who is involved in the business as a process server.  Applicants must be 21 or over but must also actively have worked as a process server for two years. 

The applicants must furnish a fee that accompanies the background check, going up to USD 1500, although it usually amounts to USD 750. It is necessary to pass an exam with a score of 75% or better, although it solely applies to individual applicants and qualified agent applicants. An oral examination can be done in addition to this. The Nevada Private Investigator Licensing Board issues licenses. A license is valid for one year and expires June 30th of each year, with renewal between May 15th and June 30th. Before the Board grants any license, the applicant, including each director and officer of a corporate applicant, must have had no conviction of a felony relating to the practice for which the applicant wishes to be licensed or any crime involving moral turpitude or the illegal use or possession of a dangerous weapon. It is necessary to be of the good moral character herein. 

The acquirement of a policy of insurance for protection against liability to third persons of no less than USD 200,000 needs to be written by an insurance company authorized to do business in this state or possess sufficient means to act as a self-insurer against that liability. Every such licensee’s license is automatically suspended 10 days after receipt by the licensee of notice from the board that the required insurance is not in effect.

Sources

 http://pilb.nv.gov/Licensees/ExamDates/

Nev. Reb. Stat. Ann. §648.110. Qualifications of applicants; issuance of the license.

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 648.135 [Insurance requirement]

G. OKLAHOMA PROCESS SERVICE

Licensing is necessary for process servers. A bond must be furnished to the State of Oklahoma for  USD 5000  ensuing from a private company to ensure the faithful performance of their duties. A process server must not hold other insurance, although carrying professional liability insurance is highly recommended. Requirements in other states and jurisdictions vary.

The licensing fee for the applicant’s county comes up to  USD 35, although the procurement of a state-wide process server’s license can tally up to USD 150. However, there are no other testing requirements provides herein, although the license does provide that process servers are officers of the court for the service of process.

Sources

12 OK Stat § 12-2004 (2014)

H. TEXAS PROCESS SERVICE 

Effective July 1, 2005, the Texas Supreme Court adopted changes to Rules 103 and 536(a) of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (TRCP) concerning the state-wide Certification of process servers. Consequently, it is necessary to obtain  [A.] a certificate of completion from an approved educational course, [B.]electronic fingerprinting through the Texas Department of Public Safety and [C.] a first-time applicants fee of  USD 200. The Judicial Branch Certification Commission must approve the educational course. Usually, the course can extend between USD 75 and USD 150 for the course and must be done within a year to apply for certification as a server. Upon receipt of the application, a criminal history background check must be passed, wherein a fingerprinting appointment must be scheduled. If approved, the server will receive a blue certification card in the mail and be included on the list of certified legal process servers.

Sources:

Texas Rule of Judicial Admin. Rule 14

I. WASHINGTON PROCESS SERVICE

A process server in the State of Washington is required to register with the auditor of the county where they reside, has the principal place of business, and pays a $10 fee without a necessity for a bond or any specific educational licenses. The individual needs to be of age to apply, however.

[3.0] STATES WITH LOCAL LICENSING LAWS

A. FLORIDA PROCESS SERVICE

Sheriffs in certain counties (currently about seven) will appoint individuals as a special process server. Applicants must be at least 18, be a permanent resident of the state, submit to an examination, and execute a $5,000 bond. Section V.I of Florida’s Fifth Judicial Circuit in the Administrative Order A- 2008-21 states that a bond needs to be executed and filed in the amount of USD 5,000.00 with a surety company authorized to do business in this State for the benefit of any person injured by misfeasance, malfeasance, neglect of duty, or incompetence of the applicant in connection with their duties as a process server.

The chief judge of each judicial circuit is empowered to certify process servers to serve process, and currently, judges in approximately 30 counties grant such certifications. The requirements for becoming certified are essentially the same as the requirements for appointed a special process server by the sheriff.

Each of Florida’s 67 counties has its own requirements, with some counties offering no licensure at all. It is necessary to obtain a certificate of good conduct and a clean background check in addition to a passed exam to become a process server in Florida.

Appointment of a server can be made either through [A.] the courts or [B.] a sheriff. The judicial district license process servers are held in 40 counties in the state, although local requirements can differ. The chief judge of each judicial circuit is empowered to provide certification, although the requirements are roughly the same as being appointed a special process server by the Sheriff.

Currently, around nine counties in the state allow for sheriff-appointed process servers. However, around fourteen counties do not have a process server program, relying on the judge’s appointment for the service at hand [known as motion and order.] A license in one jurisdiction is inapplicable in any other area, and the server needs to be properly licensed in each area in which they serve. 

Florida  

Section 48.021 Process; by whom served of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure for how to become a Florida process server

Rule 14 of the Eleventh Judicial District

B.  MISSOURI PROCESS SERVICE

While Missouri does not have any licensing requirements, the City of St. Louis specifies a training course to be undertaken to become a process server. This course required five nights of classroom instruction and required a written examination to be passed at the culmination as administered by the Sheriff of the City of St. Louis. Furthermore, it is necessary for applicants must be 21 years old with a school diploma or GED and no criminal record. All process servers are required to have E&O coverage with limits of at least $100,000.

C. NEW YORK PROCESS SERVICE 

New York does not lay down a state-wide license requirement but does specify local process-service rules. The five boroughs area of the City New York requires that all individuals looking to serve must be licensed through the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. This license needs to be procured for all individuals who serve five or more processes in the year, although attorneys and government employees in New York are exempt from this requirement.for insurance or bonding.

New York servers must pass a Process Server’s exams or an agency, complete the roster of Process Serving Agencies as specified in the basic individual license application and the adjacent necessary paperwork. It is necessary to furnish a New York Process Server Bond of USD 10,000 for individuals or USD 100,000 for agencies and a license fee. A background check and a passport-sized photo must also be furnished.

 [3.1] STATES WITHOUT PARTICULAR PROCESS SERVICE LAWS. 

A. ALABAMA PROCESS SERVICE 

As an alternative to delivery by the sheriff, issuing from any court governed by these rules may be delivered by the clerk to any person not less than eighteen (18) years of age. This also requires the person to be disinterested in the case. While Alabama does not have any particular licensing laws, the server must be designated by the court’s order to do the service.

What if the service is refused?

If the service of process is refused, it becomes the responsibility of the clerk of the court to mail a copy of the document to be served to the defendant at their respective address to ensure that the service is deemed complete.

B.  ARKANSAS PROCESS SERVICE

The administrative judge of a judicial district, or any circuit judge(s) as permitted by the administrative judge, are allowed to issue an order appointing an individual to make service of process which is then considered valid for every division of circuit court, and every district court, in the county. A Supreme Court Administrative Order sets out minimum requirements, including familiarity with applicable provisions. Judicial districts can impose additional requirements. 

The individual appointed to serve process required to  [A.]be not less than 18 years old, and a citizen of the United States, [B.] have a high school diploma or equivalent; [C.] must not have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or a crime involving dishonesty or false statement, regardless of the punishment. Additionally, they must have a valid driver’s license and know about the documents that are being served. Consequently, the order of appointment must be carried with a valid driver’s license. These are the state’s main requirements, although each judicial district is allowed to impose additive qualifications. 

To become a court-appointed process server, it is necessary to apply with the circuit clerk. Even if the applicant is filing in one county for an appointment in one or more counties of the district, it is necessary to accompany the application with an affidavit with the applicant’s name, address, occupation, and employer, in addition to the minimum qualifications. The General Assembly will set any application fee charged by the circuit court. The judge determines whether the applicant is qualified and shall issue the order to the circuit clerk for a fixed term that shall not exceed three years.

Sources 

By statute. Ar. R. Civ. P. 4(c) 

Pursuant to Arkansas Rule of Civil Procedure 4(c)(2)

By court order. .Ar. Sup. Ct. Adm. Order No. 20

Arkansas Supreme Court Order Number 20

C. COLORADO PROCESS SERVICE

Colorado does not have any education or registration requirements for private process servers, though it is required that servers need to be eighteen years or older and not a party to the action. Furthermore, service of process to a foreign country needs to follow [A.]  any internationally agreed means reasonably calculated to give notice,[B.]  the foreign country’s law, or [C.] direction by the foreign authority or the court if not otherwise prohibited by international agreement.
Colorado’s process server association, the Process Servers Association of Colorado (PSACO), equips local process servers with certification courses, networking with other experienced process servers, and even a reference manual for their members.

Sources

Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 4(d) 

D.  CONNECTICUT PROCESS SERVICE

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

Connecticut law allows the service of process by any “indifferent person” under certain limited circumstances, although the state does not actually 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 the process can be entitled to around USD 20 for each service. For every second and additional defendant, they are eligible to receive an additional fee of USD 10 as well as 30 cents per mile.

By law, all civil processes must be served by a sheriff, deputy, constable, or other proper officer authorized by statute. However, an indifferent person is allowed to serve the process 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 service is immediate. However, all services must be signed by a licensed attorney, a judge, or a court clerk.

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

The statute requires examination and training, wherein the State Marshalls must pass an exam with a raw score of 80 %. 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 service of process and execution and their familiarity with the applicable portions of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Connecticut Practice Book the commission’s regulations.

Sources 

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

CGS § 52-261

CGS § 52-50

CGS § 52-45a

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

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.

E. DELAWARE PROCESS SERVICE

Service of process is allowed by [A.] the Sheriff or [B.] any adult not less than 18 years of age who is not a party to the case. However, Delaware does not require any licensing of servers. 

Delaware requires registration for a few individual courts. Consequently, the set requirements vary. This can be seen in the working of the Court of Common Pleas, where applicants are required to supply an affidavit, pass a criminal background check and pay a USD50 fee. Additionally, they are required to reapply every year. 

F. GEORGIA PROCESS SERVICE

Process servers in Georgia are not by and large mandated to be licensed. However, some county courts’ requirements mean that different court systems would postulate that servers register with their specific court systems or pass a background check. Most commonly, servers tend to be appointed by a court administrator or judge. This would mean that the sheriff of the county where the action is brought is responsible for service. The other option is someone who has been specifically appointed by the court to serve, which would sometimes require certification to be appointed in that particular court. If the latter instance is true, the application for each court of the desired counties must be filled individually and sent to the Clerk for court approval. 

If the server is not appointed, a motion and order for special appointment must be submitted for the case so that the [A.]sheriff of the county, [B.] their deputy, or [C.]  marshal or sheriff of the court, or [D.] any citizen of the United States specially appointed by the court for that purpose appointed as a permanent process server by the court in which the action is brought are allowed to serve. 

It is necessary to be 18 years of age or older and a US Citizen without any affiliation to the case. It may also be necessary to [A.] finish a 12-hour, pre-certification class, [B.] pass an exam administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts [C.] obtain a surety bond, and [D.]  complete a background check including fingerprinting and supplying a certified birth certificate.

Sources

Court of Chancery; Family Court; Court of Common Pleas; Justice of the Peace Courts

OCGA 9-11-4.1

G. HAWAII PROCESS SERVICE

Process servers in the state of Hawaii are not required to be licensed since adults over eighteen years of age, that is [A.] not a party to the case,  [B.]a member of a corporation or[C.] any organization that is a party is qualified to serve. 

However, for five types of service, the Hawaii State Department of Public Safety maintains a list of authorized civil process servers. These are [A.] orders to show cause, [B.] writs of attachment and execution [C.] garnishment documents [D.] writs of replevin; and ]E.]writs of possession which need to be authorized by applying to the Deputy Director of Law Enforcement. However, training can be done on an informal basis.

H. IOWA PROCESS SERVICE

While there is no requirement for registration in Iowa, there are processes laid down for the service of notices in the state. 

Original notices

These may be served by any person who is neither a party nor the attorney for a party to the action. This individual needs to accompany the copy of the original notice with an acknowledgment of service and deliver a copy of the original notice. Delivering a  copy of the original notice through the mail is satisfactory, permitted, or required by law. 

Non-service of the original notice.

 If service snot is made within ninety (90) days after filing the petition, the action can be dismissed without prejudice to the defendant. This is done if the court undertakes dismissal instead of providing service upon motion or alternate modes of service. An extension for service can be given upon showing good cause. 

Sources:

Rule 1.302(5) 

Rule 1.302(6)

I. IDAHO PROCESS SERVICE 

Process servers in  Idaho do not need a  license, though subpoenas are required to be served either by an officer authorized by law to serve process or by any other person who is not a party and is not less than eighteen years of age.

J. INDIANA PROCESS SERVICE

Licencing is not required in Indiana, and any individual over eighteen (18) years old who is not a party to the case is allowed to furnish service of process. However, the manner of service is required to be provided by the individual themselves or their attorney. If this is not provided, the county clerk’s responsibility is to ensure service is completed by mail or other public means. This is dependent on whether the mailing address can be determined or is written in the summons.

K. KANSAS PROCESS SERVICE

Service and execution of all processes are successful if done by a [A.]  sheriff within the sheriff’s county, [B.] their deputy, [C.] by an attorney licensed to practice before the Supreme Court Of Kansas. It is also acceptable if done by an appointed process server as per a district court’s judge or clerk. However,  a subpoena can be served by any other person who is not a party and is not less than 18 years of age.

L. KENTUCKY PROCESS SERVICE

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. 

Service can be meted out by [A.]   certified mail in the manner or [B.] by personal delivery of a copy of the summons and complaint by a person over 18 years of age. Any initiating document can also do this. 

Sources:

Rule 4.01 (1) (a) 

M. LOUISIANA PROCESS SERVICE

Though process servers in the state of Louisiana do not need to be licensed and are just required to be over eighteen and not a party to the case, domiciliary service would require a proper officer leaving the citation s at the dwelling house or usual place of abode of the person to be served. The recipient needs to be of suitable age and discretion residing in the domiciliary establishment. 

Louisiana also shares similar process service rules to the state of Maine. 

N. MASSACHUSETTS PROCESS SERVICE

Service of process in Massachusetts is handled by constables appointed according to each county, even if they don’t have a specialistic law enforcement background. The counties allocate their standards for constabulary appointment, wherein expanded powers to serve multiple forms of the process is designated.  This is because only sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, and constables serve the process. Consequently, constables must either pass a selection procedure or be appointed by the mayor with references,  a background check, a furnished bond, and go through a swearing-in procedure.  

A constable must give a USD 1000 bond to the town, with sureties approved by the selectmen. The faithful performance of their duties in the service of all civil processes and the filing of the same is required, with the selectmen’s approval endorsed thereon. The town clerk can sign off on their service of any writ or other process in personal action. However, the damages mustn’t be laid at a greater sum than two hundred dollars, and in replevin in which the subject matter does not exceed in value two hundred dollars, and any writ or other process.

Sources

Mass. Ann. Laws ch. 41, § 91- 92

O. MARYLAND PROCESS SERVICE

Service of process is allowed by a  sheriff or a competent private person. While this means 18 years of age or older, it also provides for an attorney of record. There are no actual licensing requirements in Maryland. 

P. MICHIGAN PROCESS SERVICE

Process servers in the state of Michigan are not required to be licensed, and civil actions can be served by any adult of legal competence as long as they are not a party or an officer of a corporate party.

Q. MINNESOTA PROCESS SERVICE 

Process servers in Minnesota are not required to be licensed, and the individuals responsible for service are the sheriff or any other person not less than 18 years of age and not a party to the action. These individuals are liable for the service of a summons or other process.  Under current Minnesota law, a prevailing party may recover the cost of service of process, whether by a sheriff or private process server, as costs and disbursements. Furthermore, the court very rarely will actually make an effort to direct a specific means of the process. 

Sources

Minn.stat. § 549.04 (Supp. 1983)

Rule 25-507

Section 25-2229

R. MISSISSIPPI PROCESS SERVICE

Process servers in the state of Mississippi are not required to be licensed. Consequently, a valid summons and complaint can be served by any person who is not a party and is not less than 18 years of age.

S. NORTH CAROLINA PROCESS SERVICE 

As soon as the complaint is filed, the summons shall be issued. The summons issuance cannot extend past five days and needs to be delivered for service by an individual of suitable age and discretion. This refers to the county’s sheriff where service is to be made or some other person duly authorized by law to serve summons within the state. However, outside the state, this can be any proper person who is [A.]not a party [B.] is not less than 21 years of age or [C.] who is duly authorized to serve summons by the law of the place of prospective service. 

T. NORTH DAKOTA PROCESS SERVICE

Process servers in the state of North Dakota are not required to be licensed. Service of all process can be done within the state by any person of legal age who is not a party and disinterested in its action. It can be done outside the state by any person who can do service under the law of the state of origin or destination or designation by a court of the state.

U. NEBRASKA PROCESS SERVICE 

A process server does not have to be licensed in Nebraska.  A county without a [A.] contracted constable, [B.] any person twenty-one years of age or older, or [C.] corporation, partnership, or limited liability company has the same power as a sheriff to execute any service of process or order. However, any person or entity can qualify for the same as long as they are not a party to the action or related to said party and do not have an interest. Furthermore, any public official employed by the county where service is made whose duties include service of process is not qualified. 

Furthermore, it is necessary to render a good and adequate corporate surety bond totaling fifteen thousand dollars if the person or entity undertakes the process server’s duties with accuracy and due diligence.

Sources

Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 25-507

V. NEW HAMPSHIRE PROCESS SERVICE

 New Hampshire does not require a  licensed process server insofar as anyone over the age of eighteen (18) years old, who is not a party to the case, is legally able to serve papers in the state of New Hampshire.

A sheriff may appoint a special deputy for the service and return of any process by an endorsed warrant. 

Sources

RS 178:6, 8. CS 189:6, 8. GS 197:2. GL 216:2. PS 212:2. PL 324:2. RL 380:2

W. NEW JERSEY PROCESS SERVICE

Process servers in New Jersey have no licensing requirement though summons needs to be coupled with a copy of the complaint.  People responsible for the same can be A.] the sheriff, [B.] a person specially appointed by the court for that purpose,  [C.] the plaintiff’s attorney or the attorney’s agent, or [D.] any other competent adult not having a direct interest in the litigation.

X. NEW MEXICO PROCESS SERVICE

Process servers in the state of New Mexico do not to be licensed. However, a civil action renders responsible the [A.] sheriff of the defendant’s county or [B.] any other person who is over the age of eighteen (18) years and not a party to the action. This is held for all process service except for writs of attachment, writs of replevin, and writs of habeas corpus, which shall be served by any person, not a party to the action over the age of eighteen (18) years who may be specially designated by the court to perform such service or by the sheriff of the county where the property or person may be found.

Y. OHIO PROCESS SERVICE

Ohio does not actually license or modulate process servers. Any individual 18 years of age or older who is not a party to the case may become a process server in Ohio. Private process servers are active in the state and are appointed by individual courts.

Sources

Ohio Rule of Civil Procedure 4

Z. OREGON PROCESS SERVICE

Process servers in the state of Oregon are not required to be licensed. However. Any person responsible for the service of a Writ of Garnishment must have E&O (errors and omissions insurance) insurance coverage starting from USD 100,000. Furthermore, Oregon’s substituted service at a residence is valid if served upon any person 14 years or older.

A.2. PENNSYLVANIA PROCESS SERVICE

Process servers in the state of Pennsylvania do not need a license. In fact, the original process can be served by a competent adult in actions of equity, partition, prevent waste, and declaratory judgment when declaratory relief is the only relief sought. This is done in addition to service by the sheriff. 

B.2. RHODE ISLAND PROCESS SERVICE 

Service of all process is the responsibility of the sheriff or their deputy in the sheriff’s county. This can also be done by a duly authorized constable or by any person who is not a party and at least eighteen (18) years of age. Service of process on Sundays is not allowed. 

C.2. SOUTH CAROLINA PROCESS 

Service of a summons may be successfully provided by the [A.] sheriff, [B.] their deputy, or [C.[ any other person not less than eighteen (18) years of age. The process cannot be served by any individual involved in the action, regardless if they are an attorney or a party to the same. Service of all other processes shall be made by the sheriff or his deputy or any other duly constituted law enforcement officer or by any person designated by the court who is not less than eighteen (18) years of age and not an attorney in or a party to the action, except that a subpoena may be served.

Sources

Rule 45

D.2.  TENNESSEE PROCESS SERVICE

The servers do not need to be licensed, although they must be identified via their name and address after the service is completed. A summons and complaint may be served by any person who is not a party to the action and is 18 years of age or older. 

E.2. UTAH PROCESS SERVICE

Process servers need not be licenses, though service of the summons and complaint needs to be done in Utah or any other state or territory of the United States by [A.]the sheriff or constable or their deputy or [B.]  by a United States Marshal or their deputy, or [C.]any other person eighteen (18) years of age or older who do not fall under the ambit of a party to the action or the party’s attorney.

F.2. VERMONT PROCESS SERVICE

While a process server needs n toot to be licensed in Vermont, the county court of service must authorize it. 

Service of all process must be made by a [A.]sheriff or their deputy [B.] constable or other person authorized by law [C.] some indifferent person specially appointed for that purpose by any superior judge or a judge of the court to which it is returnable. Extraordinary appointments for process service can come into play when substantial savings in travel fees result.

It must be remembered that the service of process training is a part of the overall training for sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, and constables.

G.2. VIRGINIA PROCESS SERVICE

Any person of age eighteen (18) years or older and who does not come under the ambit of a party or who is otherwise interested in the subject matter in controversy is lawfully suitable to serve. 

H.2. WISCONSIN PROCESS SERVICE

Any adult resident of the state can serve an authenticated copy of the summons. The only necessity is that the individual is not a party to the action, though reasonable diligence is necessary. However, an adult who is not a party to the action can serve an authenticated copy of the summons in Wisconsin as long as they reside in Illinois, Iowa, or Michigan. 

I.2. WEST VIRGINIA PROCESS SERVICE

Though licensing of a process server is not necessary for West Virginia, they need to be authorized by the county court of service. However, service is valid if it is done by any person who is not a party and at least 18 years of age.

J.2. WYOMING PROCESS SERVICE

Process servers must be authorized by the county court where service is being effectuated. 

Within the state, the process’s service depends on the county’s sheriff where the service is made or their under-sheriff or deputy. However, at the request of the issuing party, any other person of the age of majority who does not qualify as a party to the action can be appointed to serve. 

For information on serving legal papers, click here or call (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers by clicking here.

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