Court Serving

  Court Serving Your Guideline

FYI On the proper court serving of your document papers

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Court serving of your document papers to some of you may be a new experience so let me just say I will try to provide as much creditable information to give you clarity of the process.

It's really not that difficult although there are a few key points you need to be made aware of. 



  • The County Sheriff 
  • Process Servers
  • Friend Over 18
  • Court Clerk

  • Personal
  • Substituted 
  • Private Mail Box
  • Certified Mail 

So lets review each manner of service:

The county sheriff will serve your document papers for a fee, just remember with the sheriff they have a routine schedule and your service of process goes within their scheduled rotation.

Process Servers are more creative and accommodating in getting your service request completed and can altar their schedule to fit your particular needs.

Friends and family members can serve although you are at risk selecting this choice for several reasons, let me share just a few. The person you are serving can deny being served or properly served. They can say they were never served. Also they can say anything which can possibly dis-credit your service of process.

The court clerk can serve your document papers by certified mail. The problem with this is upon delivery of the papers if they are not served personally upon the respondent/defendant you may experience a possible in-proper service.

Who should you serve?

  • Resident - Individual
  • Business - owner - manager- partner
  • Corporation - Agent for service of process
  • Limited Liability or Partnership - Manager/Agent of Service


This particular detail is very important and should not be overlooked at all cost. 

Keep in mind you have 15 calendar days before the appointed court date to complete service of process when serving the respondent/defendant personally. 
The respondent/defendant must be living in the same California county as the appointed courthouse of the case.

When the respondent/defendant lives outside the appointed courthouse county region they must be served personally within 20 calendar days of court date. 

Substituted Service

Court serving document papers by substitute service of process must be completed 25 calendar days before the appointed court date.

By chance the sub service is performed outside of the appointed courthouse county region court papers need to be served 30 calendar days before the appointed court date. 

Important Point

Always when sub service is performed mail a copy of the court papers first class mail to the residence/business where the papers were left.

Our policy practice is to mail the court serving document papers with a (certificate of mailing) stamped and dated by the postal counter clerk. This insures you have sufficient proof a copy was in fact mailed out from that particular US post office.

Serving the correct person/entity 

In some cases you may have a minor person to be served, you will always serve the minor and the parent/guardian. In case the minor person isn't present be sure you mail a copy in the same manner (certificate of mailing) to insure you have proof a copy was mailed out to referenced address. 

After court serving papers are served (what is next)

Once the completion of service of process you must prepare a proof of service to be filed with the court clerk. This should be done no later than 5 calendar days before appointed court date.

Three ways to file proof of service

  • File in person at court clerk's counter
  • File by fax/e-fax filing
  • Mailing to the courthouse. 

That's it you see I told you it wasn't that difficult. Just follow these simply guideline instructions and you will be fine. 

If this information was valuable to you please click the like button and also leave me a comment. Maybe you would like to read upon another topic. Just leave your request in the comment box and I will respond. Thank you for visiting my web site. You can subscribe to my RSS feed to receive more articles as they are published. 

Take care!
Jon Serve Associates
California Process Servers

California Process Servers JSA
10950 Arrow Route 661
Rancho Cucamonga CA 91729

Direct: 909-472-9107
   Fax: 909-453-3277

View Sherman Peters's profile on LinkedIn

                                Jon Serve Associates

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