Best Practices for Service of Process -
Adopted by NAPPS

  1. For purposes of these Best Practices, "Primary service" of process refers to the service of initial or other process intended to acquire jurisdiction over a person or property. "Secondary service" of process refers to the service of subsequent papers exchanged between the parties following service of initial process. These Best Practices refer to both Primary and Secondary service of process.

    The word or phrase "effected" refers to the date that legal process is delivered, sent or transmitted to a party.

    The word or phrase "completed" refers to the date that legal process is legally binding upon a party. This date may be the same as when legal process is personally delivered to a party, or when presumed by law to have been recieved by a party.

  2. Service of process or other papers for the purpose of acquiring jurisdiction over a person or property should be performed by a disinterested third party.
  3. The preferred and most effective method of service of process upon a party is in-person delivery of process to the named party.
  4. When in-person service upon a named party cannot be effected, the next best method of service should be in-person delivery of process to a person authorized by court rule or statute to deliver process to on behalf of the named party. For example, this includes such person as "member of household," "person apparently in charge at a usual place of business," "person of suitable age and discretion," "parent," "guardian," "registered agent" and "statutory agent,".
  5. When service cannot be effected as described in 3 and 4 above, the next best methods of service is alternate methods authorized by court rule or statute upon a demonstration of the fact that service cannot be effected by the methods in 3 and 4 above. This would include service by mail, posting, publication and electronic means. If service is authorized in a manner other than by in-person delivery, service should not be deemed completed until at least three days after service is effected, unless acknowledged by the recipient.
  6. When service cannot be effected by any of the methods described above, the Court, upon a showing that service cannot be effected by any of these methods, may order service to be done in a manner reasonably calculated to provide actual notice to the party.