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Service of Process

Service of process is the delivery of the complaint to the tenant.  When you file a complaint, the court will attempt to send the complaint to the tenant at the address you provide.  Service of process notifies the tenant that you have filed a lawsuit and enables him or her to prepare to admit the claim or prepare a defense.  If the tenant is not served, your case cannot go forward.

Although there are different methods of service, the Clerk of Court now uses personal or residence service delivered by a court bailiff.

A copy of the complaint and court summons is personally served on the tenant or posted in a noticeable place on the rental property by the court bailiff. If the bailiff is unable to locate or serve the tenant for any reason, the case cannot proceed to trial.

At the same time, the Clerk mails a copy of the summons and complaint to the tenant by ordinary USPS mail with proof by certificate of mailing. If there is no service, the Clerk will send the landlord a notice requesting new instructions for service.

If there is no service, your case will be dismissed and you will need to file the case again when you are able to obtain service.