This article will provide guidance on What Do Process Servers in Tennessee Do? Unlike in some other states, process servers in Tennessee are not needed to have any official certification or licensing to practice in the state. Any non-party above eighteen (18) may serve a summons and complaint.  The clerk of the court where the complaint is filed will immediately issue the summons and have it delivered to the person authorized to serve the process, along with copies of the complaint and summons. The return affixed to the summons will be evidence of when and how the process was carried out. A summons may be issued for service in any county against any defendant, and separate or additional summonses may be issued against any defendant upon request of the plaintiff.  Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

At Undisputed Legal, we serve legal papers across Tennessee following the requirements of the state as well as the specific county of service.  When a party (like a defendant), a court, or an administrative body seeks to exercise jurisdiction over another party (like a defendant), Undisputed Legal process servers provide that party with notice of the pending legal action and an opportunity to react. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.


Tennessee does not require as stringent licensing requirements as a lot of other states. Anyone over eighteen who is not a party may serve a summons and complaint. The return form has to include the name and address of the process server. However,  this can often jeopardize the accuracy as well as efficiency of your service. Consequently, we ensure that our process servers are experienced and reliable. We are accountable to you for all process services and safeguard that you are always kept in the loop as to the status of your documents. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

A valid Tennessee state court summons must include the court and county where the case is being heard, the name of the case, the clerk’s date and signature, the title of the action, and the case file number. The summons must be served on the defendant, inform them that they have a certain amount of time to attend and defend themselves in accordance with the rules and warn them that if they do not, a default judgment will be entered against them for the relief requested in the complaint. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

Issued in the name of the State of Tennessee, the summons must bear the court and county name, the action title, and the case file number, as well as be dated and signed by the clerk. The summons must be served on the defendant, inform them that they have a certain amount of time to attend and defend themselves in accordance with the rules, and inform them that if they do not, a default judgment will be entered against them for the relief requested in the complaint. If there is an attorney representing the plaintiff, that attorney’s name and address should be included on the summons; otherwise, the plaintiff’s address should be included.  

Promptly following service, the person serving the summons must provide the court with proof of service, including the name of the person served and a description of how the summons was delivered. A summons must be returned within thirty days after its issue with the grounds for the failure to serve specified on the back. 

Our Tennessee process servers serve a wide variety of legal documents, such as summons and complaints, divorce and family court documents, subpoenas and citations, small claims court cases, orders to show cause and petitions, discovery documents, eviction notices, landlord/tenant notices, motions, and more. We are a comprehensive process-serving agency in Tennessee, serving the needs of government entities on all levels (federal, state, and local), private law offices, individual lawyers, and the general public.


An application for the issuance of civil process on a Sunday must be made under oath or affirmation by a party who alleges that the defendant has removed or is about to remove the defendant’s person or property outside the jurisdiction of the court to which the application was made.

If service is made by mail, the original summons, with the appropriate endorsements, the affidavit of the person providing service attesting to that person’s compliance with the requirements of this rule, and the return receipt must all be sent to and filed with the clerk. The date of sending a certified copy of the summons and a copy of the complaint to the defendant and a date of receipt of return receipt from the defendant must be endorsed above the person making service’s signature on the original summons. Service on the defendant must be deemed complete if the return receipt is signed by the defendant or by the person authorized. In the event that service by mail is unsuccessful, alternative means permitted by these rules or by legislation may be employed.

A summons and complaint may be served on a nonresident doing business in this state through an office or agency here, or on a resident doing business in a county other than the county in which the resident resides, in any action arising out of or connected with the business of that office or agency.  The plaintiff, the plaintiff’s attorney, or any other person permitted by legislation may serve the defendant with a summons and complaint by mailing them to the defendant. The original summons, a certified copy thereof, and a copy of the filed complaint must be made available by the clerk to the plaintiff for service by mail after the complaint has been filed. A certified copy of the summons and a copy of the complaint must be sent to the defendant through registered or certified mail with a return receipt requested and postage pre-paid by the person serving the summons.  No default judgment may be entered on the basis of service by mail unless the record includes a return receipt demonstrating personal acceptance by the defendant or by people authorized. 

At Undisputed Legal, we employ local Tennessee-based process servers to offer three tiers of service to customers across the state. We ensure that our process servers are well-acquainted with the requirements of the Tennessee legal system. We offer multiple levels of Tennessee process service to our clients, with [A.] Routine Service, where the server will make their first attempt within five to seven business days, or [B.] Rush Service, where the server will make its first attempt at service within forty-eight hours. We also provide mail service, where the documents will be sent out within twenty-four hours of receiving their request for service. 

Although the duration of the two tiers of service (Routine and Rush) are different, they both promise the same number of tries to deliver your documents by a process server in Tennessee. Following due diligence requirements, we ensure that our servers will make at least three attempts at service in the morning, afternoon, and evening. 


The plaintiff must provide additional copies of the summons and complaint required for service. When the laws of Tennessee permit service to be made in a jurisdiction other than this one, service may be made either [A.] in the same manner as service within this state is permitted; or [B.] in the manner prescribed by the law of the state in which service is effected for action in any court of general jurisdiction; as directed by the court. 

A copy of the summons and the complaint must be served with any legal process served in Tennessee. An officer or managing agent of the corporation, the main agent in the county where the action is filed, or any other person authorized by appointment or by law to accept service on behalf of the company, shall be the proper addressee for service by mail upon the corporation.

In any action where service of summons, process, or notice is required or permitted by law to be made by registered or certified mail under Tennessee law, and where the addressee or the addressee’s agent refuses to accept delivery and indicates as much on the United States Postal Service return receipt, the written return receipt, if returned and filed in action, shall be deemed an actual and valid service of the summons, process, or notice. When a letter is sent, it completes the service.

Suppose the defendant requests a waiver of service and promptly submits it. In that case, the deadline for serving a response to the complaint is extended from the date of service to the date sixty days following the date on which the request for a waiver of service was submitted. The action must continue as if a summons and complaint had been served at the time of filing the waiver, and no evidence of service will be needed.


Service upon a defendant may also be made in a location outside of any judicial district of the United States if there are no internationally agreed means of service or if the applicable international agreement permits other means of service, provided that service is reasonably calculated to give notice, such as those means authorized by the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents. For this, the procedure within the state would require delivery to the individual personally of a copy of the summons and the complaint; or any form of mail requiring a signed receipt to be addressed to the individual at their last known address; or as directed by the foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory or letter of request; or unless prohibited by the law of the foreign country.

Improper service of process is often a major concern for anyone sending out their documents. However, we safeguard our clients’ papers to the our fullest abilities. Only seasoned process servers in Tennessee who have met the most recent license, schooling, and bonding criteria required by their jurisdiction may serve court papers in Tennessee.  We keep ourselves accountable to our clients through [GPS service affidavits as well as email updates sent to you personally in ‘real-time.’ We send a copy of the affidavit via email to our clients before we mail the papers.  Additionally, a basic skip trace is on the house for new customers.


Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed to 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.; Our receptionist will receive all documents.


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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 Tennessee 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.

“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. To serve legal documents in Shelby County, Tennessee, you must first apply and meet any extra conditions set out by the county. Learn about the petition, background check, and bail needed to become a process server in Shelby County, Tennessee.

2. The clerk or general sessions judge is required to certify, under subsection, that the affidavit of service of process was obtained under oath by the plaintiff, the plaintiff’s agent, or the plaintiff’s attorney.

3. The plaintiff must provide additional copies of the summons and complaint required for service.  Service may be made on any person (other than an unmarried minor or an incompetent person) by personally delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to that person, or if that person fails to accept service or fails to acknowledge service, by leaving copies thereof at the individual’s dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein, whose name shall appear on the proof of service, or by delivering copies thereof to an agent authorized by the individual.

4. If a partnership or unincorporated association (including a limited liability company) is named as a defendant, the process must be delivered by mail to either a partner or managing agent of the partnership, an officer or managing agent of the association, or to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service on behalf of the partnership or association.

5. The United States Postal Service’s ‘unclaimed’ or similar marking on a properly addressed registered or certified mail is adequate proof that the defendant has refused to accept delivery.

6. The date of issuance must be noted by the clerk, general session judge, or attorney issuing the process, and the date of receipt must be noted by the sheriff or other official tasked with executing the process.

If this condition is not met, the offender must pay a fine of one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125), plus court expenses, in any court with jurisdiction over the matter.

7. If a defendant fails to comply with a request to waive serving of a summons, then the defendant must pay the expenses spent in effecting service and the costs, including a reasonable attorney’s fee, of any motion needed to recover the costs of service.


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