Service of Process (Civil)

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Service of Process (Civil)
Purpose and Use of Summons
A summons is a court-issued form that is used to give notice to a defendant of an action pending against him. The summons contains the number of days or a certain day before which the defendant must appear or answer or otherwise plead in response to the complaint.
Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint
If a sheriff, marshal, constable, or individual makes the service, he must file a proof of service. Alternatively, one may file a written acknowledgment of service by the defendant. Any form must contain the complete caption of the case and court number of the case, and must be signed, or declared under penalty of perjury.
Appearance of Defendant
If a defendant or an attorney for the defendant files an "appearance" in the case or files in response to a pleading in the case, that is proof that the defendant was served or had notice of the case, unless it is a special appearance to object to service only.
If the appearance is general, the defendant must follow with the rules of court in responding to the pleadings from then on, or he may suffer a default judgment. A defendant may waive service of process by his actions in defending a case. In some courts the defendant's attorney may file a "special appearance" for the purpose of attacking jurisdiction or service of process only but the special appearance should be drafted by the attorney. Do not use a general appearance form for this purpose.
Get a status report from the department of state in the state where you believe the corporation is incorporated or from your department of state if it is a corporation in your state
Read the status report to get the name and address of the registered agent for service of process of a domestic corporation
If it is a corporation based outside your state, check with your department of state to see if it is registered to do business in your state; and if so, who is its resident agent for service of process
in all the preceding cases get and use the exact registered corporate name in the summons and complaint captions
Preparation of a Summons to a Corporation

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