26/6/18 Service of Process: Different Types

  • Personal service: When the person served is physically handed court papers notifying her that she has been sued, she is said to have been personally served.
  • Service by mail: Once a party has been properly served with the complaint and summons, most future court papers in the lawsuit may be served on the parties by first-class mail.
  • Service by publication: When the whereabouts of a defendant are unknown, or personal service within the state is impossible, a court may allow the defendant to be served with notice of the lawsuit by publishing the notice in a newspaper of general circulation.
  • Nail and mail: Nail and mail service is the posting of the notice on the person’s home and then mailing him a copy (hence nailing and mailing).
  • Substituted or alternate service: In some states, such as New York, substituted or alternate service is any method of service a court allows when personal service is impossible or impracticable. In other states, such as California, substituted service is leaving the court papers with a responsible person at the defendant’s home or business and then mailing the defendant a copy.