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Serving Court Documents

Who Can Serve Papers?

Do not serve the papers yourself!

Any person who is at least 18 years old and not involved in the case may serve papers. The person who serves the papers will have to fill out a Proof of Serviceform telling what they gave (served) to the other parties.

There is a chance that the person who served the papers would have to appear in court and tell how he or she served the papers.

Choose someone to serve the papers who is able to fill out the form.
There are companies that serve papers for you as part of their business. These companies charge money for serving the papers.

The Sheriff's Office will serve papers for you. The Sheriff's Office charges money unless the court waived the fee.
In a Domestic Violence case the Sheriff will serve the papers to start the case and also the Order, at no cost.

The Sheriff's office will file the Proof of Service for you and give you a copy of the form.

If the court allowed you a fee waiver because you are on aid or receiving SSI, the Sheriff's Office will serve the papers to start the case with no charge.
You may have a friend or relative serve the papers if that person is at least 18 years old and is willing to help you, is able to complete the form to prove service and could appear in court to tell what they served. Remember, you must later file the Proof of Service.

Any Peace Officer who is present at the scene of alleged domestic violence may serve any already existing Domestic Violence Restraining Order.
A Peace Officer may issue an order restraining domestic violence, called Emergency Protective Order, to prevent domestic violence when it is not possible for the alleged victim to get to court immediately. The peace officer serves the papers on the other party at that time.

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