This article will provide guidance on What Do Process Servers in North Carolina Do? Service of Process in the state of North Carolina does not need any kind of registration or licensing on the part of the server. Anyone over twenty-one who is neither a party to the action nor interested in the matter may serve a Civil Summons. A summons and complaint may be served on a natural person by handing them directly to the defendant or leaving them at his or her home or place of business with a responsible adult.  Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

If the lawsuit was filed in North Carolina, the sheriff or another person authorized by law to serve summons must be contacted.  Engaging a private process server like Undisputed Legal for this service is preferable since sheriff’s offices are often overloaded with law enforcement, judicial, and detention services. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.


Summonses must be served within five days of the complaint being filed at the very latest. Private process servers are required to adhere to stricter guidelines even in jurisdictions where they are legally allowed to perform this function. Even more stringent regulations exist in North Carolina, where the employment of private process servers is already highly restricted. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

Summons will be served as soon as possible and no later than five days after the complaint is filed. Someone appropriate must be served with the complaint and summons. The sheriff of the county where service is to be effected, or anyone authorized by law to serve summonses, is the appropriate person in this State. The clerk of court must select ‘any competent person’ to effectuate service if the sheriff or coroner of the county cannot be located, refuses or neglects to serve the documents, or is ‘otherwise involved’ in action.  Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

Whether the case is filed in state or federal court, the summons must be issued in the name of the state and signed by the clerk, assistant clerk, or deputy clerk of the court in the county where the action is filed. The name of the court and county where the action has been filed must be included. It must be served on the defendant or defendants and inform them that they have thirty days from the date of service to appear in court and answer the complaint and that if they do not, the plaintiff will file a motion asking the court to provide the relief requested in the complaint. The name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney, or the plaintiff themselves, must be included if they do not have one. The summons must specify that a request for admission was delivered with it.

At Undisputed Legal, our process servers are up to date on the licensing and registration requirements of North Carolina. Process service of court documents in North Carolina is performed only by experienced North Carolina process service which meet all of the latest licensing, education, and bonding requirements imposed by the jurisdiction in which they operate. For instructions on How To Serve Legal Papers in North Carolina, Click Here!


Any party may accept service of process by noting acceptance of service together with the signature of the party accepting service and the date thereof on an original or copy of a summons. Such acceptance will have the same force and effect as if the process had been served by delivery of a copy of the summons and complaint to the person signing said copy of the summons and complaint. Such acceptance will be the same as if the party accepting the service had signed the original summons and complaint.

The requirement for service by publication is satisfied if made in the county where the action is pending and proof of service.  If the defendant was not personally served, the person who did so must attest in an affidavit that they knew the person served to be the party mentioned in the summons and delivered to and left with them a copy. If such service is made outside North Carolina, the evidence thereof may be made in accordance with the legislation of the location where such service is made. A private process service agency like Undisputed Legal is well-versed in the laws of North Carolina and is accustomed to out-of-state service being done. 

Summonses, complaints, divorce papers, family court documents, subpoenas, citations, small claims court cases, orders to show cause, petitions, discovery documents, evictions, landlord/tenant notices, motions, and any other legal document can be served by our North Carolina process servers. We serve legal documents to individuals, businesses, government agencies, and other organizations throughout North Carolina.

Since we have our staff of North Carolina-based process servers, we are able to offer our three (3) tiers of service to customers across the state. Our Routine Process service option ensures the process server’s first attempt is made within five to seven business days. In contrast, our Rush Process option ensures that the process server’s first attempt is made within forty-eight hours. 

We also offer service by mail, wherein the documents are sent out for service within twenty-four hours of receiving the request for service. It should be known that service by registered or certified mail requires an affidavit from the party making service, stating that [A.] a copy of the summons and complaint was deposited at the post office for mailing by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested; [B.] the summons and complaint were received, as evidenced by the attached registry receipt or other evidence satisfactory to the court of delivery to the addressee; and [C.]  the genuine receipt or other evidence of delivery is attached.

Regardless of your option, any Undisputed Legal process server in North Carolina adheres to due diligence requirements, making up to three attempts at service regardless of the chosen service level. Attempts are made in the morning, afternoon, and evening, with the only difference between the level of service being the timeline within which they are conducted.


Service of summons, either personally or by substituted personal service, must be completed within thirty days of the date the summons was issued. Once a summons has been served on all defendants, it must be returned to the clerk who originally issued it as soon as possible, with a note indicating that it has been served.

A summons should remain valid even if it is not served within the allotted time or if it is not returned to the clerk after having been served on all parties specified therein. Failure to comply with this requirement will not render the summons invalid. However, the officer is obligated to return the summons to the clerk of the court that issued it immediately following the expiration of the time allowed for service on all of the parties named in the summons, along with a notation on the summons itself explaining why service was not made on any of the parties.

The defendant may be given more time to serve the process by having the original summons endorsed with an extension. The returned summons should be endorsed in the same way as the initial service. Within ninety days after the date of summons or the date of the most recent endorsement, whichever is later, the such endorsement may be obtained, or a summons in alias or plies, returnable in the same way as the original process, may be issued by the plaintiff.

Unless it seems that considerable injury would result in substantial rights of the person against whom the process was issued, the court may at any time, before or after judgment, in its discretion and under such conditions as it considers reasonable, allow any process or evidence of service thereof to be changed.


If service is made by registered or certified mail, the party must submit an affidavit to the court at least five days before a default judgment is entered. A return receipt signed by someone other than the addressee and this affidavit creates a presumption that the person who received the mail and signed the receipt was an agent of the addressee authorized by appointment or by law to be served or to accept service of process or was a person of suitable age and discretion residing in the addressee’s dwelling house or usual place of abode. If a summons and complaint are sent, they will be considered served on the day they are received at the recipient’s address. 

It can often be difficult actually to keep track of the status of the service. To keep us accountable, we ensure that we email a copy of the affidavit to our clients prior to mailing. We also provide GPS affidavits of service that you may easily access and personalized ‘Real Time’ email status updates.  We also provide a free basic skip trace for all new clients. 


By any method under the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents which is reasonably intended to reach the addressee or in the manner specified by that government’s legislation for service in that country. Service of papers from out of the state should be done in accordance with the instructions provided by that government in response to a letter rogatory or letter of request.  Our North Carolina process servers are well-versed in the delivery of documents from out-of-state and are comfortable with the specifics of service necessary.

If the plaintiff so requests, the clerk will provide a copy of the summons to be sent to the foreign court or officer-making service. The court’s order or the foreign national’s legislation may all dictate how proof of service is to be provided. An affidavit or certificate of addressing and mailing issued by the clerk of court must be accepted as proof of service by mail. 


Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed to ps@undisputedlegal.com, or uploaded to our website. 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.; Our receptionist receives all documents.


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Brooklyn: (347) 983-5436 – 300 Cadman Plaza West, 12th Floor, Brooklyn, New York 11201
Queens: (646) 357-3005 – 118-35 Queens Blvd, Suite 400, Forest Hills, New York 11375
Long Island: (516) 208-4577 – 626 RXR Plaza, 6th Floor, Uniondale, New York 11556
Westchester: (914) 414-0877 – 50 Main Street, 10th Floor, White Plains, New York 10606
Connecticut: (203) 489-2940 – 500 West Putnam Avenue, Suite 400, Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
New Jersey: (201) 630-0114 – 101 Hudson Street, 21 Floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
Washington DC: (202) 655-4450 – 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Suite 300, Washington DC 20004

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 North Carolina 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.

“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. In accordance with Rule 4 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure

2. The sheriff is the appropriate service agent for a personal serving of summonses, and private process servers cannot get involved until the sheriff refuses or fails to accomplish service.

3. The term ‘appropriate person’ may refer to a private process server, although that is not required. The replacement must act in the same manner the sheriff would and is responsible for the same obligations. 

4. Service of process or a default judgment cannot be challenged on the grounds that personal service, rather than service by registered or certified mail, should have been used. The failure to exercise reasonable care as a condition antecedent to service by publication cannot be used as a foundation for an assault on a judgment by default by a party who received real notice in a timely manner.

5. If served by the sheriff of the county or the lawful process officer in this State where the defendant was found, by the officer’s certificate thereof, showing place, time, and manner of service; or if served by a lawful process server outside of this State, by the officer’s certificate thereof, showing place, time, and manner.

6. By the oath of the publisher or printer, or his foreman or chief clerk, demonstrating the same and stating the dates of the first and final publication, and by the affidavit of sending of a copy of the complaint or notice, as the situation may demand, made by the person who sent the same.

7. Suing out an alias or plies summons must be done within 90 days of issuance of the most recent summons in the chain of summons or the date of the most recent endorsement, whichever is later. The first endorsement may be made at any time within two years after the original summons was issued, and subsequent endorsements may be made as in other actions; an alias or pluries summons may be sued out at any time within two years after the original summons was issued, and after the issuance of such alias or pluries summons, the chain of summonses may be kept in effect.

8. Before the court enters a default judgment based on service by publication, the party doing service must file an affidavit explaining why publication was necessary, what information was used to determine the publication’s geographic scope, and proof of service in accordance with G.S. 1-75.10. (2).

9. The statute of limitations cannot be raised as a defense if the action commenced within the limitation period. The service of process is completed within 60 days from the dating service is declared invalid unless it can be shown that the person who received the receipt at the addressee’s dwelling house or usual place of abode was not a person of suitable age and discretion residing therein, in which case the presumption described in the preceding sentence is rebutted.

10. Any form of mail requiring a signed receipt to be addressed and dispatched by the clerk of the court to the party to be served; Personal delivery of a copy of the summons and the complaint to the individual, or upon a corporation, partnership, association, or other such entity, delivery to an officer or the managing or general agent;


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