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What is Service of Process?

What does "service of process" mean? It refers to the legal process for notifying a person or entity that legal action has been taken against the person or entity.

Service of Process

If an individual or entity takes legal action against you or your business, they must provide service of process to notify you that the suit was filed. There are varying rules for delivery of the papers, including hand-delivery and by mail. This discussion refers to hand-delivery, or "personal delivery."

The Due Process clause of the United States Constitution does not allow a court to have personal jurisdiction over a defendant unless the defendant has received proper notice of the proceedings before the court. As a practical application, courts require the plaintiff in each case to have the court summons and his or her complaint to be served on the defendant. The complaint and summons together equate to “process.”

The process server must fulfill a variety of legal requirements. The server must serve the paperwork within the time prescribed by law. After service, the server must complete a proof of service affidavit that informs the court about whom was served, when service occurred, where service occurred and how service was performed. Additionally, the process server returns this information to the plaintiff so that he or she can file it with the court.

VPANY can assist you with personal service of your documentation upon the opposing party. We will, of course, also assist you with service of process via mailing, posting or publication. Just give us a call!


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