This article will provide guidance on What Due Process Servers in Iowa Do? Anyone who is not a party to the lawsuit or a counsel for a party may serve the first notice in Iowa.  Whenever mailing is required or authorized by any regulation or legislation, a party or party’s agent or attorney may send a copy of the original notice and get an acknowledgment of service in connection therewith. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

In Iowa, it is a minor criminal infraction to willfully interfere with or hinder the delivery or execution of any civil or criminal process or order of any court by any authorized person.  Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.


Any individual who is not a party to the case nor their attorney may serve as the first server of a notice. Accepting an acknowledgment of service and delivering a copy of the original notice is permissible, and sending a copy of the original notice is permissible if required or authorized by any regulation or statute. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

If the original notice is not served on the defendant, respondent, or other party to be served within ninety (90) days after the petition is filed, the court shall dismiss the action without prejudice as to that defendant upon motion or its initiative after notice to the party filing the petition. The deadline for service may be extended by the court if the party submitting the documents provides a good reason for the delay in service. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

Copies of notifications are ‘served’ by giving them to the appropriate party. If service on a defendant cannot be effected by this rule, the court may order other means of service that are not inconsistent with due process of law. This is where a professional process service firm like Undisputed Legal steps in. We’re exceedingly well-versed in the law, and our team of Iowa process servers ensures that we protect our defendants from carelessness and misplaced process service. 


Service of process for all other returns must be verified by affidavit. A return of personal service must include the time, mode, and location of delivery, as well as the name of the person to whom a copy was provided who is not the defendant.

Documentation demonstrating that service was made is required. The person serving process must provide evidence of service to the court as soon as possible and in any case, within the time limit within which the person being served must react. The service is still considered valid when proof of service is not provided. Proof of mailing must be by affidavit if service involves notice by letter. A copy of the documents mentioned in the affidavit must be attached, and the affidavit must be submitted to the court as soon as possible.

At Undisputed Legal, our Iowa process servers serve all types of legal documents, including summons and complaints, divorce papers, family court documents, subpoenas, citations, small claims court cases, orders to show cause, petitions, discovery documents, and evictions, landlord/tenant notices, motions, and more. We are a full-service process server agency providing services to federal, state & city agencies, law firms, attorneys, and the general public in Iowa. 

Our local process servers ensure that our clients are aware of service requirements. We make sure that service is done in complete transparency to our clients. This means that clients are given real-time email updates personalized to their requirements, as well as GPS updates of affidavits of service. Additionally, before mailing any service, it is personally mandatory to Undisputed Legal that the defendant be provided an email copy of their affidavit before mailing. We also provide a free basic skip trace for all new clients. 


Except for complaints, summonses, and subpoenas, only law enforcement personnel, constables, sheriffs, or their duly designated deputies, may serve any civil or criminal process. However, since sheriffs and other law enforcement personnel have other responsibilities apart from the service of papers and have a huge influx of papers, it often means that there is diminished accountability for the service to be provided in time. This is where a private process-serving agency like Undisputed Legal is preferable. Our process servers specialize in providing quick and effective service, and we ensure that we adhere to strict timelines for the documents. 

At Undisputed  Legal, we offer three levels of service. We provide routine service, where the first attempt at service is made between five to seven days of receiving the documents, and rush service, where service is first done within forty-eight hours as a first attempt. We also provide service by mail, where documents will be mailed out to the defendants within twenty-four hours. 

Process servers deliver legal documents to parties that are involved in legal proceedings. These documents can range from subpoenas; foreclosure documents; child support documents; wage attachments; bank levies; complaints; small claims cases; eviction notices; and other documents. Process servers are required to follow federal and state laws.


Iowa process servers are not required to be licensed. A copy of the original notice may be served by any person who is neither a party to nor the attorney for a party to the action. This party, party’s agent or attorney may take an acknowledgment of service and deliver a copy of the original notice or may mail a copy of the original notice when the mailing is required or permitted by any applicable rule or statute.

To initiate most legal proceedings, ‘personal service’ must be performed by physically delivering the notice to the individual to whom it is addressed. A sheriff or process server is the traditional individual tasked with effectuating personal service. In cases when the defendant cannot be traced, ‘service by publication is an option.

Rule 1.302 and Rules 1.305–.315 of the Iowa Rules of Civil Procedure detail the many options for serving legal documents in the state. Identifying and using the most appropriate service mode is crucial but not always easy.  The process server will not need to pay any fee or become registered as a process server in Iowa. In Iowa, there are currently no rules governing the process of serving the industry. The civil process may be served on someone not a party to the litigation. Consequently, the serving process in Iowa is a complicated task. It requires experienced process servers like those employed at Undisputed Legal to achieve service adequately.

Any individual who is not a party to the case nor their attorney may serve as the first server of a notice. When mailing is required or authorized by any regulation or statute, a party or party’s agent may accept an acknowledgment of service and provide a copy of the original notice, and vice versa. Suppose the original notice is not served on the defendant. In that case, respondent, or other party to be served within ninety (90) days after the petition is filed, the court will dismiss the action without prejudice as to that defendant, upon motion of the party filing the petition or on its initiative, after notice to the party filing the petition. The deadline for service may be extended by the court if the party submitting the documents provides a good reason for the delay in service.

Judgment by default may be entered for the remedy requested in the petition if the defendant, respondent, or other party fails to move or answer within the time specified in the initial notice.). Except in the case of publishing, a copy of the petition must be included with the original notification. 


Each recipient will get a hard copy of the petition and a hard copy of the notification. The plaintiff must serve the original notice and petition and provide the person effecting service with copies of the original notice and petition. Cases involving fewer amounts than USD10,000 are exempt from this regulation. When sending a copy of the original notice is required or authorized by any regulation or legislation, a party or party’s agent or attorney may do so and may take an acknowledgment of service and provide a copy of the original notice in conjunction therewith.

If the original notice is not served on the defendant, respondent, or another party to be served within ninety days of the petition being filed, the court shall dismiss the action without prejudice as to that defendant, respondent, or another party to be served upon motion of the party filing the petition or on its initiative after notice to the party filing the petition. The deadline for service may be extended by the court if the party submitting the documents provides a good reason for the delay in service. 

A default judgment may only be issued after a ten-day notice period, which is now more accurately reflected by this amendment. There is a nineteen-day service obligation in the regulation as well. As a result, most courts now require a waiting period of ninety days before issuing scheduling orders to ensure that service is complete before the order is issued.


Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed ps@undisputedlegal.com, 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 are received by our receptionist.


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Simply 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 Iowa 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 of our clients globally from our offices in New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington D.C.

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives”– Foster, William A


1. Chapter 719 of the Iowa Statutes: Obstructing Justice; Section 719.1: Interfering with Official Acts

2. 1305(6) Upon a partnership, association, or corporation, by service upon any present or acting officer thereof, or upon any general or managing agent thereof, or upon any agent or person now authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of the original notice, or upon the general partner of a partner.

If you’re interested in serving as mayor or city clerk in any city, you may do so under section 1305(8) of the code.

By delivering a copy of Section 1305(9) to the county auditor or the county board chair.

1305(10) Upon any school district, school township, or school corporation by acting as its president or secretary.

  1. In accordance with Section 1305(11), upon the state, when made a party subject to statutory permission for authorization for litigation as given.
  2. Service under Rule 1305(12) may be made upon any person, company, partnership, or organization doing business under a readily identifiable name.
  3. Upon a government board, commission, or agency by serving the board’s presiding officer, clerk, or secretary in accordance with 1305(13

3. To effect personal service on an individual of diminished capacity

  1. Upon any person who has attained majority and who has not been adjudged incompetent by taking the person’s signed and dated acknowledgment of service endorsed on the notice; or by serving the person personally; or by serving at the person’s dwelling house or usual place of abode, any person residing therein who is at least eighteen (18) years old; provided, however, that if such place is a rooming house, hotel, club, or apartment building, the
  2. In the event of a minor…
  3. To the extent that any individual is found to be incompetent according to Section 1305(3)…
  4. Any inmate of a county care institution (as defined in Section 1305(4))…

4. If service cannot be done in accordance with Rule 1.305, then it may be served in any way compatible with due process of law established by order of the court in which the action is lodged.

The right to serve an original notice on any person, firm, corporation, personal representative, partnership, or association within or beyond the state in any manner now or hereafter allowed by law or regulation is not in any way restricted or affected hereby.

5. A fair charge or mileage not to exceed the amounts authorized by Iowa Code section 331.655 must be taxed at all costs if service is made in Iowa by someone other than such a peace officer… or by someone in another state who is not a sheriff or peace officer.

6. Any process or evidence of service thereof may be changed at any time, in the court’s discretion, unless it seems that serious harm to the substantive rights of the… [defendant] would follow.

7.  Unless otherwise prohibited by the aforementioned clause, the following individuals are authorised to serve all process issued by courts in this state:

  1. A law enforcement officer working at any level of government…
  2. To be the sheriff or a deputy sheriff by appointment…
  3. If a constable is acting within the bounds of the law, then…
  4. State-employed investigators…

Only the following types of process may be served by private investigators who have obtained the necessary state licences:

  1. Petitions
  2. Complaints
  3. Summonses
  4. Complementary mandates
  5. Demands for explanations
  6. Notices
  7. Affidavits for Minor Proceedings
  8. Claims Tribunals for the Smaller Settlements
  9. Garnishment Writs
  10. The Garnishee has placed an order.
  11. Commissions to compel the production of documents.
  12. On the return of service, the person serving process must clearly indicate the date and time of service, as well as his name and address.

8. Title 78, Chapter 12a, Process Server Act of the Iowa Code of Judicial Procedure

9. Any defendant, respondent, or other person against whom an action has been brought must be given notice in the form and manner prescribed by this rule. It is agreed that this notification serves as the first notice. 1.302(1) Included in the initial notification must include the following:

  1. Details about the court and the involved parties.
  2. If a lawyer is representing the plaintiff or petitioner, that lawyer’s name, address, phone number, and fax number should be included; otherwise, just provide the plaintiff’s or petitioner’s own contact information.
  3. The time and date the petition was submitted.
  4. The time frame within which a motion or response must be served and filed in order to comply with applicable rules and legislation.

10. A broad explanation of the claim or claims and, subject to the restriction in rule 1.403(1), the remedy claimed must be included in the initial notice that is published if service is to be made by publication.

11. A person who is not a party to the action nor an attorney for a party may serve an original notice under Rule 1.302(4).


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