15/8/17 What does ‘Service’ mean in legal English?
- Delivering legal papers to a defendant or a plaintiff in a lawsuit.
- Delivering written notification of the sender’s intent to invoke a legal or contractual right.
The delivery of copies of legal documents such as summons, complaint, subpoena, order to show cause (order to appear and argue against a proposed order), writs, notice to quit the premises, and certain other documents, usually by personal delivery to the defendant or other person to whom the documents are directed. In certain cases of absent or unknown defendants, the court will allow service by publication in a newspaper. Once all parties have filed a complaint, answer, or any pleading in a lawsuit, further documents usually can be served by mail or even fax.