Civil Justice: Service of Process

Michael Hartman 2/10/2021

Alternative Text

Court cases begin when a plaintiff files a complaint with the court and properly serves what is called a summons alongside the complaint to the defendant. A complaint is filed with the court and sets forth any legal claims against the defendant, while the summons is meant to provide information to the defendant regarding the court case, such as where and when the defendant must appear to avoid a default judgment.

The method in which a summons and complaint, as well as later pleadings, are delivered to a defendant is referred to as service of process. Courts are constitutionally required to provide service of process and many states have a catch-all provision to effect service of process.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, as well as the document being served, different types of service of process are allowed, including: (1) personal service, (2) domiciliary service, (2) service by mail, (4) service by publication, or (5) by any method prescribed by court order. See the chart below for general definitions of these processes.

Personal Service Service to an individual defendant personally: Depending on the state, process servers may be private or public entities. Although this is typically allowed to be accomplished anywhere at any time, some states do not allow personal service to occur on holidays or Sundays.
Domiciliary Service Service to an individual defendant’s usual place of abode–either delivered to the defendant or someone of suitable age and of sound mind.
Mail Service Service through mail is typically achieved through certified mail but may also be achieved through first-class mail in some states. Mailing the defendant a waiver for service of process may also be allowed but will not complete service of process unless the defendant returns the signed waiver.
Publication Service Service through publication is usually achieved through sequential publications over a period prescribed by the court or statute. Following this period, service of process is considered complete.  

Special rules for service of process might apply depending on the circumstances of the case being brought and states have many statutes that provide unique notice requirements depending on the case being brought. For example, some construction defect laws provide that 75 days prior to bringing litigation, the plaintiff must provide a notice of claim process which involves a 30-day inspection period. In that period, alleged defects in construction can be inspected and the matter may be settled prior to a complaint being filed with the court. This special form of notice is separate from the service of process requirements once a complaint has formally been filed with the court.

Due to the breadth and complexity of these nuances, the chart below will cover only the general service of process requirements in each state for bringing a suit.

The chart highlights the rules covering the contents of a summons, the process to serve an individual, any time limits to complete service, as well as briefly covering whether the state allows other forms of service of process, such as first-class and/or certified mail or publication. If a state allows for these other methods of service but there is an asterisk, then the state only allows these methods under certain circumstances or by court order. Many states require plaintiffs to show some form of due diligence in attempting to serve the defendant through the customary methods prior to resorting to alternative methods.

50-State Chart on Standard Service of Process

The box below allows you to conduct a full-text search or type a state name.

 

State Contents Personal Service Time Limit Mail? Publication?
Alabama
ARCP Rule 4 et seq.
The summons shall be signed by the clerk, contain the name of the court and the name of the first party on each side with an appropriate indication of other parties in cases involving multiple parties, be directed to the defendant or each defendant in cases involving multiple defendants, state the name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff’s address, and the time within which these rules require the defendant to appear and defend, and shall notify the defendant that, in case of the defendant’s failure to do so, judgment by default may be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. Upon an individual, other than a minor or an incompetent person, by serving the individual or by leaving a copy of the summons and the complaint at the individual’s dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein or by delivering a copy of the summons and the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process If service of the summons and complaint is not made upon a defendant within 120 days after the filing of the complaint, the court, upon motion or on its own initiative, after at least fourteen (14) days’ notice to the plaintiff, may dismiss the action without prejudice as to the defendant upon whom service was not made or direct that service be effected within a specified time; provided, however, that if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure to serve the defendant, the court shall extend the time for service for an appropriate period. Y Y*
Alaska
Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4 et seq.
The summons shall be signed by the clerk, bear the seal of the court, identify the court and the parties, be directed to the defendant, and state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney or the plaintiff's name and address if the plaintiff is unrepresented. It shall also state the time within which the defendant must appear and defend, and notify the defendant that failure to do so will result in judgment by default against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. The summons must also notify the defendant that the defendant has a duty to inform the court and all other parties, in writing, of the defendant's or defendant's attorney's current mailing address and telephone number, and to inform the court and all other parties of any changes. Upon an individual other than an infant or an incompetent person, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally, or by leaving copies thereof at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process. The clerk shall review each pending case 120 days after filing of the complaint to determine whether all defendants have been served. If any defendant has not been served, the clerk shall send notice to the plaintiff to show good cause in writing why service on that defendant is not complete. If good cause is not shown within 30 days after distribution of the notice, the court shall dismiss without prejudice the action as to that defendant. If the court finds good cause why service has not been made, the court shall establish a new deadline by which plaintiff must file proof of service or proof that plaintiff has made diligent efforts to serve. Y Y*
Arizona
Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4 et seq.
A summons must: (A) name the court and the parties; (B) be directed to the party to be served; (C) state the name and address of the attorney of the party serving the summons or--if unrepresented--the party's name and address; (D) state the time within which the defendant must appear and defend; (E) notify the party to be served that a failure to appear and defend will result in a default judgment against that party for the relief demanded in the pleading; (F) state that “requests for reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities must be made to the court by parties at least 3 working days in advance of a scheduled court proceeding”; (G) be signed by the clerk; and (H) bear the court's seal. An individual may be served by: (1) delivering a copy of the summons and the pleading being served to that individual personally; (2) leaving a copy of each at that individual's dwelling or usual place of abode with someone of suitable age and discretion who resides there; or (3) delivering a copy of each to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process. If a defendant is not served with process within 90 days after the complaint is filed, the court--on motion, or on its own after notice to the plaintiff--must dismiss the action without prejudice against that defendant or order that service be made within a specified time. But if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court must extend the time for service for an appropriate period.  Y* Y*
Arkansas
ARCP, Rule 4 et seq.
The summons shall be styled in the name of the court and issued under its seal, dated and signed by the clerk or a deputy clerk, and directed from the State of Arkansas to the defendant to be served. It shall contain: (1) in its caption, the names of the plaintiff and defendant or, if there are multiple parties, the names of the plaintiff and defendant listed first in the complaint; (2) the address of the defendant to be served, if known; (3) the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, otherwise the address of the plaintiff; (4) the time within which these rules require that the defendant to be served must appear, file a responsive pleading or motion, and defend; and (5) notice that the defendant's failure to appear, respond, and defend within the time allowed may result in entry of judgment by default against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. If the defendant is a natural person at least 18 years of age or emancipated by court order, by: (A) delivering a copy of the process to the defendant personally, or if he or she refuses to receive it after the process server makes his or her purpose clear, by leaving the papers in close proximity to the defendant; (B) leaving the process with any member of the defendant's family at least 18 years of age at a place where the defendant resides; or (C) delivering the process to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of summons on the defendant's behalf. If service of process is not made on a defendant within 120 days after the filing of the complaint or within the time period established by an extension, the action shall be dismissed as to that defendant without prejudice on motion or on the court's initiative. Y Y*
California
West's Ann. Cal. C.C.P. § 413.10 et seq.
- A summons may be served by personal delivery of a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the person to be served. Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete at the time of such delivery. In lieu of personal delivery of a copy of the summons and complaint to the person to be served, a summons may be served by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint during usual office hours in his or her office or, if no physical address is known, at his or her usual mailing address, other than a United States Postal Service post office box, with the person who is apparently in charge thereof, and by thereafter mailing a copy of the summons and complaint by first-class mail, postage prepaid to the person to be served at the place where a copy of the summons and complaint were left. When service is effected by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint at a mailing address, it shall be left with a person at least 18 years of age, who shall be informed of the contents thereof. - Y Y*
Colorado
C.R.C.P. Rule 4
The summons shall contain the name of the court, the county in which the action is brought, the names or designation of the parties, shall be directed to the defendant, shall state the time within which the defendant is required to appear and defend against the claims of the complaint, and shall notify the defendant that in case of the defendant's failure to do so, judgment by default may be rendered against the defendant. If the summons is served by publication, the summons shall briefly state the sum of money or other relief demanded. The summons shall contain the name, address, and registration number of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, and if none, the address of the plaintiff. Upon a natural person whose age is eighteen years or older by delivering a copy thereof to the person, or by leaving a copy thereof at the person's usual place of abode, with any person whose age is eighteen years or older and who is a member of the person's family, or at the person's usual workplace, with the person's supervisor, secretary, administrative assistant, bookkeeper, human resources representative or managing agent; or by delivering a copy to a person authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process. If a defendant is not served within 63 days (nine weeks) after the complaint is filed, the court--on motion or on its own after notice to the plaintiff--shall dismiss the action without prejudice against that defendant or order that service be made within a specified time. But if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court shall extend the time for service for an appropriate period. Y* Y*
Connecticut
C.G.S.A. § 52-45a et seq.
Civil actions shall be commenced by legal process consisting of a writ of summons or attachment, describing the parties, the court to which it is returnable, the return day, the date and place for the filing of an appearance and information required by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator. The writ may run into any judicial district and shall be signed by a commissioner of the Superior Court or a judge or clerk of the court to which it is returnable. Except as otherwise provided, process in any civil action shall be served by leaving a true and attested copy of it, including the declaration or complaint, with the defendant, or at his usual place of abode, in this state. - Y* -
Delaware
Court of Common Pleas Civil Rules, Rule 4
The process shall bear the date of its issuance, be signed or bear an electronic signature by the Clerk of the Court or 1 of the Clerk's Deputies, be under the seal of the Court, contain the name of the Court and the names of the parties, state the name of the official or other person to whom it is directed, the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff's address, and the time within which these Rules require the defendant to appear and defend, and shall notify the defendant that in case of the failure to do so, judgment by default will be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. Upon an individual other than an infant or an incompetent person by delivering a copy of the summons, complaint and affidavit, if any, to that individual personally or by leaving copies thereof at that individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or, by delivering copies thereof to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process. If a service of the summons and complaint is not made upon a defendant within 120 days after the filing of the complaint and the party on whose behalf such service was required cannot show good cause why such service was not made within that period, the action shall be dismissed as to that defendant without prejudice upon the court's own initiative with notice to such party or upon motion. Y Y*
District of Columbia
DC ST § 13-101 et seq.; SCR-Civil Rule 4 et seq.
A summons must: (A) name the court and the parties; (B) be directed to the defendant; (C) state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney or if unrepresented, of the plaintiff; (D) state the time within which the defendant must appear and defend; (E) notify the defendant that a failure to appear and defend will result in a default judgment against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint; (F) be signed by the clerk; and (G) bear the court's seal. Unless applicable law provides otherwise, an individual--other than a minor, an incompetent person, or a person whose acknowledgment has been filed may be served anywhere in the United States by: (1) following District of Columbia law, or the state law for serving a summons in an action brought in courts of general jurisdiction in the state where service is made; or (2) doing any of the following: (A) delivering a copy of the summons, complaint, Initial Order, any addendum to that order, and any other order directed by the court to the parties at the time of filing to the individual personally; (B) leaving a copy of each at the individual's dwelling or usual place of abode with someone of suitable age and discretion who resides there; or (C) delivering a copy of each to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process. Within 60 days of the filing of the complaint or, if an order of publication has been issued, within 60 days from the return date specified in the order, the plaintiff must file either an acknowledgment of service or proof of service of the summons, complaint, Initial Order, any addendum to that order, and any other order directed by the court to the parties at the time of filing. A separate acknowledgment or proof must be filed as to each defendant who has not responded to the complaint. Y Y*
Florida
West's F.S.A. § 48.011 et seq.; Fla. R. Civ. P. Rule 1.070 et seq.
- Service of original process is made by delivering a copy of it to the person to be served with a copy of the complaint, petition, or other initial pleading or paper or by leaving the copies at his or her usual place of abode with any person residing therein who is 15 years of age or older and informing the person of their contents. If service of the initial process and initial pleading is not made upon a defendant within 120 days after filing of the initial pleading directed to that defendant the court, on its own initiative after notice or on motion, shall direct that service be effected within a specified time or shall dismiss the action without prejudice or drop that defendant as a party; provided that if the plaintiff shows good cause or excusable neglect for the failure, the court shall extend the time for service for an appropriate period. Y* Y*
Georgia
Ga. Code Ann., § 9-2-1 et seq.
The summons shall be signed by the clerk; contain the name of the court and county and the names of the parties; be directed to the defendant; state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff's address; and state the time within which this chapter requires the defendant to appear and file appropriate defensive pleadings with the clerk of the court, and shall notify the defendant that in case of the defendant's failure to do so judgment by default will be rendered against him or her for the relief demanded in the complaint. Unless otherwise specfied, to the defendant personally, or by leaving copies thereof at the defendant's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process. - Y* Y*
Hawaii
Hawaii Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4
The summons shall (1) be signed by the clerk, under the seal of the court, (2) contain the name of the court, the names of the parties, and the date when issued, (3) be directed to the defendant, (4) state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff's address, (5) state the time within which these rules require the defendant to appear and defend, and shall notify the defendant that in case of defendant's failure to do so judgment by default will be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint, (6) contain a prohibition against personal delivery of the summons between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on premises not open to the public, unless a judge of the district or circuit courts permits, in writing on the summons, personal delivery during those hours, and (7) contain a warning to the person summoned that failure to obey the summons may result in an entry of default and default judgment. Upon an individual other than an infant or an incompetent person, (A) by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally or in case the individual cannot be found by leaving copies thereof at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein or (B) by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process. - Y* Y*
Idaho
I.R.C.P., Rule 4
A summons must: (A) name the court; (B) state the assigned number of the case; (C) name the parties; (D) identify the county in which the action is brought; (E) state the mailing address, physical address (if different) and phone number of the district court clerk; (F) state the name, address, phone number email address and bar number of the plaintiff's attorney or, if unrepresented, the address, phone number and email address (if any) of the plaintiff; (G) be directed to the defendant; (H) state the time within which the defendant must appear and defend; (I) notify the defendant that a failure to appear and defend will result in a default judgment against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint; (J) be signed by the clerk; and (K) bear the court's seal. An individual, other than a person under age 14 or an incompetent person, may be served doing any of the following: (A) delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally; (B) leaving a copy of each at the individual's dwelling or usual place of abode with someone at least 18 years old who resides there; or (C) delivering a copy of each to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process. If a defendant is not served within 182 days after the complaint is filed, the court, on motion or on its own after 14 days' notice to the plaintiff, must dismiss the action without prejudice against that defendant. But if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court must extend the time for service for an appropriate period. Y Y*
Illinois
735 ILCS 5/2-201 et seq.
- Except as otherwise expressly provided, service of summons upon an individual defendant shall be made (1) by leaving a copy of the summons with the defendant personally, (2) by leaving a copy at the defendant's usual place of abode, with some person of the family or a person residing there, of the age of 13 years or upwards, and informing that person of the contents of the summons, provided the officer or other person making service shall also send a copy of the summons in a sealed envelope with postage fully prepaid, addressed to the defendant at his or her usual place of abode.  - Y* Y*
Indiana
Trial Procedure Rule 4 et seq.
The summons shall contain: (1) The name and address of the person on whom the service is to be effected; (2) The name, street address, and telephone number of the court and the cause number assigned to the case; (3) The title of the case as shown by the complaint, but, if there are multiple parties, the title may be shortened to include only the first-named plaintiff and defendant with an appropriate indication that there are additional parties; (4) The name, address, and telephone number of the attorney for the person seeking service; (5) The time within which these rules require the person being served to respond, and a clear statement that in case of his failure to do so, judgment by default may be rendered against him for the relief demanded in the complaint. The summons may also contain any additional information which will facilitate proper service. Service may be made upon an individual, or an individual acting in a representative capacity, by: (1) sending a copy of the summons and complaint by registered or certified mail or other public means by which a written acknowledgment of receipt may be requested and obtained to his residence, place of business or employment with return receipt requested and returned showing receipt of the letter; or (2) delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to him personally; or (3) leaving a copy of the summons and complaint at his dwelling house or usual place of abode; or (4) serving his agent as provided by rule, statute or valid agreement. - Y Y*
Iowa
I.C.A. Rule 1.301 et seq.
The original notice shall contain the following information: a. The name of the court and the names of the parties. b. The name, address, telephone number, and if available, the facsimile transmission number of the plaintiff's or petitioner's attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff's or petitioner's address. c. The date of the filing of the petition. d. The time within which these rules or statutes require the defendant, respondent, or other party to serve, and within a reasonable time thereafter file, a motion or answer.

The original notice shall also state that if the defendant, respondent or other party fails to move or answer, judgment by default may be rendered for the relief demanded in the petition. The original notice shall also include the compliance notice required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Upon any individual who has attained majority and who has not been adjudged incompetent, either by taking the individual's signed, dated acknowledgment of service endorsed on the notice, or by serving the individual personally; or by serving, at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode, any person residing therein who is at least 18 years old, but if such place is a rooming house, hotel, club or apartment building, a copy may be delivered to such person who resides with the individual or is either a member of the individual's family or the manager or proprietor of such place; or upon the individual's spouse at a place other than the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode if probable cause exists to believe that the spouse lives at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode. - - Y*
Kansas
K.S.A. 60-301 et seq.
The summons must be signed by the clerk, dated the day it is issued and bear the court's seal. The summons is sufficient if in substantial compliance with the form set forth by the judicial council. On an individual other than a minor or a disabled person, by serving the individual or by serving an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process. If the agent is one designated by statute to receive service, such further notice as the statute requires must be given. Service by return receipt delivery must be addressed to an individual at the individual's dwelling or usual place of abode and to an authorized agent at the agent's usual or designated address. If the sheriff, party or party's attorney files a return of service stating that the return receipt delivery to the individual at the individual's dwelling or usual place of abode was refused or unclaimed and that a business address is known for the individual, the sheriff, party or party's attorney may complete service by return receipt delivery, addressed to the individual at the individual's business address. - Y Y*
Kentucky
Kentucky Rules of civil Procedure Rule 4.01 et seq.
The summons shall be issued in the name of the Commonwealth, be dated and signed by the clerk, contain the name of the court and the style and number of the action, and be directed to each defendant, notifying him that a legal action has been filed against him and that unless a written defense is made by him or by an attorney in his behalf within 20 days following the day on which the summons is served on him a judgment may issue against him for the relief demanded. Service shall be made upon an individual within this Commonwealth, other than an unmarried infant or person of unsound mind, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint (or other initiating document) to him personally or, if acceptance is refused by offering personal delivery to such person, or by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint (or other initiating document) to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process for such individual. - Y -
Louisiana
LSA-C.C.P.Art. 1231 et seq.
- Personal service is made when a proper officer tenders the citation or other process to the person to be served. Domiciliary service is made when a proper officer leaves the citation or other process at the dwelling house or usual place of abode of the person to be served with a person of suitable age and discretion residing in the domiciliary establishment. - Y* Y*
Maine
Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4
The summons shall bear the signature or facsimile signature of the clerk; be under the seal of the court; contain the name of the court and the names of the parties; be directed to the defendant; state the name and address, including email address, of the plaintiff's attorney and the time within which these rules require the defendant to appear and defend; and shall notify the defendant that in case of failure to do so judgment by default will be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. Upon an individual other than a minor or an incompetent person, by delivering a copy of the summons, complaint, and notice regarding Electronic Service to the individual personally or by leaving copies thereof at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein or by delivering a copy of the summons, complaint, and notice regarding Electronic Service to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process, provided that if the agent is one designated by statute to receive service, such further notice as the statute requires shall be given. - Y* Y*
Maryland
MD Rules, Rule 3-101 et seq.
A summons shall contain (1) the name of the court and the assigned docket reference, (2) the name and address of the party requesting the summons, (3) the name and address of the person to be served as set forth in the complaint, (4) the date of issue, (5) the time within which it must be served, (6) the assigned trial date, (7) the time within which the defendant must file a notice of intention to defend, (8) notification to the defendant that failure to file the notice of intention to defend within the time allowed may result in a judgment by default or the granting of the relief sought, and (9) the time within which the return of service shall be made. Service of process may be made within this State or, when authorized by the law of this State, outside of this State (1) by delivering to the person to be served a copy of the summons, complaint, and all other papers filed with it; (2) if the person to be served is an individual, by leaving a copy of the summons, complaint, and all other papers filed with it at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with a resident of suitable age and discretion; or (3) by mailing to the person to be served a copy of the summons, complaint, and all other papers filed with it by certified mail requesting: “Restricted Delivery--show to whom, date, address of delivery.” Service by certified mail under this Rule is complete upon delivery. A summons is effective for service only if served within 30 days after the date it is issued. A summons not served within that time shall be dormant, renewable only on written request of the plaintiff. Y Y*
Massachusetts
Mass. R. Civ. P., Rule 4 et seq.
The summons shall bear the signature or facsimile signature of the clerk; be under the seal of the court; be in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; bear teste of the first justice of the court to which it shall be returnable who is not a party; contain the name of the court and the names of the parties; be directed to the defendant; state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff's address, and the time within which these rules require the defendant to appear and defend; and shall notify him that in case of his failure to do so judgment by default may be rendered against him for the relief demanded in the complaint. Upon an individual by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to him personally; or by leaving copies thereof at his last and usual place of abode; or by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by statute to receive service of process, provided that any further notice required by such statute be given. If the person authorized to serve process makes return that after diligent search he can find neither the defendant, nor defendant's last and usual abode, nor any agent upon whom service may be made in compliance with this subsection, the court may on application of the plaintiff issue an order of notice in the manner and form prescribed by law. If a service of the summons and complaint is not made upon a defendant within 90 days after the filing of the complaint and the party on whose behalf such service was required cannot show good cause why such service was not made within that period, the action shall be dismissed as to that defendant without prejudice upon the court's own initiative with notice to such party or upon motion. Y* Y*
Michigan
MI Rules MCR 2.100 et seq.
A summons must be issued “In the name of the people of the State of Michigan,” under the seal of the court that issued it. It must be directed to the defendant, and include (1) the name and address of the court, (2) the names of the parties, (3) the case number, (4) the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney or the address of a plaintiff appearing without an attorney, (5) the defendant's address, if known, (6) the name of the court clerk, (7) the date on which the summons was issued, (8) the last date on which the summons is valid, (9) a statement that the summons is invalid unless served on or before the last date on which it is valid, (10) the time within which the defendant is required to answer or take other action, and (11) a notice that if the defendant fails to answer or take other action within the time allowed, judgment may be entered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. Process may be served on a resident or nonresident individual by (1) delivering a summons and a copy of the complaint to the defendant personally; or (2) sending a summons and a copy of the complaint by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and delivery restricted to the addressee.  A summons expires 91 days after the date the summons is issued. However, within those 91 days, on a showing of due diligence by the plaintiff in attempting to serve the original summons, the judge to whom the action is assigned may order a second summons to issue for a definite period not exceeding 1 year from the date the summons is issued. If such an extension is granted, the new summons expires at the end of the extended period. The judge may impose just conditions on the issuance of the second summons. Duplicate summonses do not extend the life of the original summons. The running of the 91-day period is tolled while a motion challenging the sufficiency of the summons or of the service of the summons is pending. Y Y*
Minnesota
Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4.01 et seq.
The summons shall state the name of the court and the names of the parties, be subscribed by the plaintiff or by the plaintiff's attorney, give an address within the state where the subscriber may be served in person and by mail, state the time within which these rules require the defendant to serve an answer, and notify the defendant that if the defendant fails to do so judgment by default will be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. Upon an individual by delivering a copy to the individual personally or by leaving a copy at the individual's usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein. If the individual has, pursuant to statute, consented to any other method of service or appointed an agent to receive service of summons, or if a statute designates a state official to receive service of summons, service may be made in the manner provided by such statute. - Y* Y*
Mississippi
M.R.C.P. Rule 4
The summons shall be dated and signed by the clerk, be under the seal of the court, contain the name of the court and the names of the parties, be directed to the defendant, state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff's address, and the time within which these rules require the defendant to appear and defend, and shall notify him that in case of his failure to do so judgment by default will be rendered against him for the relief demanded in the complaint. Upon an individual other than an unmarried infant or a mentally incompetent person, (A) by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to him personally or to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process; or (B) if service cannot be made with reasonable diligence, by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint at the defendant's usual place of abode with the defendant's spouse or some other person of the defendant's family above the age of sixteen years who is willing to receive service, and by thereafter mailing a copy of the summons and complaint (by first-class mail, postage prepaid) to the person to be served at the place where a copy of the summons and of the complaint were left. If a service of the summons and complaint is not made upon a defendant within 120 days after the filing of the complaint and the party on whose behalf such service was required cannot show good cause why such service was not made within that period, the action shall be dismissed as to that defendant without prejudice upon the court's own initiative with notice to such party or upon motion. Y Y*
Missouri
V.A.M.S. 506.110 et seq.
The summons shall be signed by the clerk and dated the day it is issued, be under the seal of the court, contain the name of the court and the names of the parties, be directed to the defendant, state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff's address, and the time within which the place where the defendant is required to appear and defend as provided by law, and shall notify him that in case of his failure to do so judgment by default will be rendered against him for the relief demanded in the petition. Upon an individual, including an infant or disabled or incapacitated person not having a legally appointed guardian or conservator, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition to him personally or by leaving a copy of the summons and of the petition at his dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of his family over the age of fifteen years, or by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition to an agent authorized by appointment or required by law to receive service of process; - Y* Y*
Montana
MCA 25-3-101 et seq.
“Notice” includes all papers and orders (except process) required to be served in any proceeding before any court, board, or officer or required by law to be served independently of such proceeding. - - Y* Y*
Nebraska
Neb. Rev. St. § 25-217 et seq.
- - Each defendant in the action must be properly served within one hundred eighty days of the commencement of the action. If the action is stayed or enjoined during the one-hundred-eighty-day period, then any defendant who was not properly served before the action was stayed or enjoined must be properly served within ninety days after the stay or injunction is terminated or modified so as to allow the action to proceed. - -
Nevada
Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4 et seq.
A summons must: (A) name the court, the county, and the parties; (B) be directed to the defendant; (C) state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney or--if unrepresented--of the plaintiff; (D) state the time within which the defendant must appear and defend under Rule 12(a) or any other applicable rule or statute; (E) notify the defendant that a failure to appear and defend will result in a default judgment against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint; (F) be signed by the clerk; and (G) bear the court's seal. Unless otherwise provided by these rules, service may be made on an individual: (1) by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to the individual personally; (2) by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint at the individual's dwelling or usual place of abode with a person of suitable age and discretion who currently resides therein and is not an adverse party to the individual being served; or (3) by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process. The summons and complaint must be served upon a defendant no later than 120 days after the complaint is filed, unless the court grants an extension of time under this rule. Y* Y*
New Hampshire
N.H. Rev. Stat. § 510:1 et seq.
All writs and other processes shall at the time that they are served upon the defendant indicate on such writ or process the time, place and mode of service made upon the defendant, and shall further indicate any attachments made upon the property of the defendant and the time, place and method of such attachments. All writs and other processes shall be served by giving to the defendant or leaving at his abode an attested copy thereof, except in cases otherwise provided for. - Y* Y*
New Jersey
R. 4:4-1 et seq.
It shall contain the name of the court and the plaintiff and the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff's address, and the time within which these rules require the defendant to serve an answer upon the plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney, and shall notify the defendant that if he or she fails to answer, judgment by default may be rendered for the relief demanded in the complaint. It shall also inform the defendant of the necessity to file an answer and proof of service thereof with the deputy clerk of the Superior Court in the county of venue, except in mortgage and tax foreclosure actions an answer shall be filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court in Trenton unless and until the action is deemed contested and the papers have been sent by the Clerk to the county of venue in which event an answer shall be filed with the deputy clerk of the Superior Court in the county of venue. If the defendant is an individual resident in this state, the summons shall advise that if he or she is unable to obtain an attorney, he or she may communicate with the Lawyer Referral Service of the county of his or her residence, or the county in which the action is pending, or, if there is none in either county, the Lawyer Referral Service of an adjacent county. The summons shall also advise defendant that if he or she cannot afford an attorney, he or she may communicate with the Legal Services Office of the county of his or her residence or the county in which the action is pending or the Legal Services of New Jersey statewide toll-free hotline at 1-888-LSNJ-LAW (1-888-576-5529). If the defendant is an individual not resident in this State, the summons shall similarly advise him or her, directing the defendant, however, to the appropriate agency in the county in which the action is pending. The reverse side or second page of the summons shall contain a current listing, by county, of telephone numbers of the Legal Services Office and the Lawyer Referral Office serving each county and the Legal Services of New Jersey statewide toll-free hotline at 1-888-LSNJ-LAW (1-888-576-5529), which list shall be updated regularly by the Administrative Office of the Courts and made available to legal forms publishers and to any person requesting such list. Upon a competent individual of the age of 14 or over, by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to the individual personally, or by leaving a copy thereof at the individual's dwelling place or usual place of abode with a competent member of the household of the age of 14 or over then residing therein, or by delivering a copy thereof to a person authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process on the individual's behalf; - Y* Y*
New Mexico
NMRA, Rule 1-004 
The summons shall be signed by the clerk, issued under the seal of the court and be directed to the defendant. The summons shall be substantially in the form approved by the Supreme Court and must contain: (1) the name of the court in which the action is brought, the name of the county in which the complaint is filed, the docket number of the case, the name of the first party on each side, with an appropriate indication of the other parties, and the name of each party to whom the summons is directed; (2) a direction that the defendant serve a responsive pleading or motion within thirty (30) days after service of the summons and file a copy of the pleading or motion with the court as provided by Rule 1-005 NMRA; (3) a notice that unless the defendant serves and files a responsive pleading or motion, the plaintiff may apply to the court for the relief demanded in the complaint; and (4) the name, address and telephone number of the plaintiff's attorney. If the plaintiff is not represented by an attorney, the name, address and telephone number of the plaintiff. Personal service of process shall be made upon an individual by delivering a copy of a summons and complaint or other process: (a) to the individual personally; or if the individual refuses to accept service, by leaving the process at the location where the individual has been found; and if the individual refuses to receive such copies or permit them to be left, such action shall constitute valid service; or (b) by mail or commercial courier service. - Y Y*
New York
McKinney's CPLR § 301 et seq.
 A summons shall specify the basis of the venue designated and if based upon the residence of the plaintiff it shall specify the plaintiff's address, and also shall bear the index number assigned and the date of filing with the clerk of the court. Personal service upon a natural person shall be made by any of the following methods: 1. by delivering the summons within the state to the person to be served; or 2. by delivering the summons within the state to a person of suitable age and discretion at the actual place of business, dwelling place or usual place of abode of the person to be served and by either mailing the summons to the person to be served at his or her last known residence or by mailing the summons by first class mail to the person to be served at his or her actual place of business in an envelope bearing the legend “personal and confidential” and not indicating on the outside thereof, by return address or otherwise, that the communication is from an attorney or concerns an action against the person to be served, such delivery and mailing to be effected within twenty days of each other; proof of such service shall be filed with the clerk of the court designated in the summons within twenty days of either such delivery or mailing, whichever is effected later; service shall be complete ten days after such filing; proof of service shall identify such person of suitable age and discretion and state the date, time and place of service, except in matrimonial actions; or 3. by delivering the summons within the state to the agent for service of the person to be served, except in matrimonial actions; 4. where service cannot be made with due diligence, by affixing the summons to the door of either the actual place of business, dwelling place or usual place of abode within the state of the person to be served and by either mailing the summons to such person at his or her last known residence or by mailing the summons by first class mail to the person to be served at his or her actual place of business in an envelope bearing the legend “personal and confidential” and not indicating on the outside thereof, by return address or otherwise, that the communication is from an attorney or concerns an action against the person to be served, such affixing and mailing to be effected within twenty days of each other; or 5. in such manner as the court, upon motion without notice, directs, if service is impracticable. Service of the summons and complaint, summons with notice, third-party summons and complaint, or petition with a notice of petition or order to show cause shall be made within one hundred twenty days after the commencement of the action or proceeding, provided that in an action or proceeding, except a proceeding commenced under the election law, where the applicable statute of limitations is four months or less, service shall be made not later than fifteen days after the date on which the applicable statute of limitations expires.  Y* Y*
North Carolina
Rules Civ. Proc., G.S. § 1A-1, Rule 4
The summons shall run in the name of the State and be dated and signed by the clerk, assistant clerk, or deputy clerk of the court in the county in which the action is commenced. It shall contain the title of the cause and the name of the court and county wherein the action has been commenced. It shall be directed to the defendant or defendants and shall notify each defendant to appear and answer within 30 days after its service upon him and further that if he fails so to appear, the plaintiff will apply to the court for the relief demanded in the complaint. It shall set forth the name and address of plaintiff's attorney, or if there be none, the name and address of plaintiff. If a request for admission is served with the summons, the summons shall so state. Except as otherwise provided, upon a natural person by one of the following: a. By delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the natural person or by leaving copies thereof at the defendant's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein. b. By delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to be served or to accept service of process or by serving process upon such agent or the party in a manner specified by any statute. c. By mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint, registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the party to be served, and delivering to the addressee. d. By depositing with a designated delivery service a copy of the summons and complaint, addressed to the party to be served, delivering to the addressee, and obtaining a delivery receipt. As used in this sub-subdivision, “delivery receipt” includes an electronic or facsimile receipt. e. By mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint by signature confirmation as provided by the United States Postal Service, addressed to the party to be served, and delivering to the addressee. - Y Y*
North Dakota
Rule 4, N.D.R.Civ.P.
The summons must: (A) specify the venue of the court in which the action is brought; (B) contain the title of the action specifying the names of the parties; (C) be directed to the defendant; (D) It must state the time within which these rules require the defendant to appear and defend; (E) notify the defendant that, if the defendant fails to appear and defend, default judgment will be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint; and (F) be dated and subscribed by the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney and include the post office address of the plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney. Service must be made on an individual 14 or more years of age by: (i) delivering a copy of the summons to the individual personally; (ii) leaving a copy of the summons at the individual's dwelling or usual place of residence in the presence of a person of suitable age and discretion who resides there; (iii) delivering, at the office of the process server, a copy of the summons to the individual's spouse if the spouses reside together; (iv) delivering a copy of the summons to the individual's agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process; or (v) any form of mail or third-party commercial delivery addressed to the individual to be served and requiring a signed receipt and resulting in delivery to that individual. - Y Y*
Ohio
Civ. R. Rule 4 et seq.
The summons shall be signed by the clerk, contain the name and address of the court and the names and addresses of the parties, be directed to the defendant, state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff's address, and the times within which these rules or any statutory provision require the defendant to appear and defend, and shall notify the defendant that in case of failure to do so, judgment by default will be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. Where there are multiple plaintiffs or multiple defendants, or both, the summons may contain, in lieu of the names and addresses of all parties, the name of the first party on each side and the name and address of the party to be served.` 1. process issuing from any state court may be delivered by the clerk to any person not less than eighteen years of age, who is not a party and who has been designated by order of the court to make personal service of process under this division. The person serving process shall locate the person to be served and shall tender a copy of the process and accompanying documents to the person to be served; or 2. process may be delivered by the clerk to any person not less than eighteen years of age, who is not a party and who has been designated by order of the court to make residence service of process under this division. The person serving process shall effect service by leaving a copy of the process and the complaint, or other document to be served, at the usual place of residence of the person to be served with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein; or 3. The clerk shall deliver a copy of the process and complaint or other document to be served to the United States Postal Service for mailing at the address set forth in the caption or at the address set forth in written instructions furnished to the clerk as certified or express mail return receipt requested, with instructions to the delivering postal employee to show to whom delivered, date of delivery, and address where delivered; or 4. The clerk shall deliver a copy of the process and complaint or other document to be served to a commercial carrier service for delivery at the address set forth in the caption or at the address set forth in written instructions furnished to the clerk, with instructions to the carrier to return a signed receipt showing to whom delivered, date of delivery, and address where delivered. If a service of the summons and complaint is not made upon a defendant within six months after the filing of the complaint and the party on whose behalf such service was required cannot show good cause why such service was not made within that period, the action shall be dismissed as to that defendant without prejudice upon the court's own initiative with notice to such party or upon motion. Y Y*
Oklahoma
12 Okl. St. Ann. § 2004
The summons shall be signed by the clerk, be under the seal of the court, contain the name of the court and the names of the parties, be directed to the defendant, state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, otherwise, the plaintiff's address, and the time within which these rules require the defendant to appear and defend, and shall notify the defendant that in case of failure to appear, judgment by default will be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the petition. upon an individual other than an infant who is less than fifteen (15) years of age or an incompetent person, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition personally or by leaving copies thereof at the person's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person then residing therein who is fifteen (15) years of age or older or by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process, If service of process is not made upon a defendant within one hundred eighty (180) days after the filing of the petition and the plaintiff has not shown good cause why such service was not made within that period, the action shall be deemed dismissed as to that defendant without prejudice. The action shall not be dismissed if a summons was served on the defendant within one hundred eighty (180) days after the filing of the petition and a court later holds that the summons or its service was invalid. After a court quashes a summons or its service, a new summons may be served on the defendant within a time specified by the judge. If the new summons is not served within the specified time, the action shall be deemed to have been dismissed without prejudice as to that defendant. This subsection shall not apply with respect to a defendant who has been outside of this state for one hundred eighty (180) days following the filing of the petition. Y Y*
Oregon
OR Rules Civ. Proc., ORCP 7
The summons shall contain: (a) The title of the cause, specifying the name of the court in which the complaint is filed and the names of the parties to the action; (b) A direction to the defendant requiring defendant to appear and defend within the time required and a notification to defendant that, in case of failure to do so, the plaintiff will apply to the court for the relief demanded in the complaint; (c) A subscription by the plaintiff or by an active member of the Oregon State Bar, with the addition of the post office address at which papers in the action may be served by mail; and (d) If the summons is served by any manner other than publication, the defendant shall appear and defend within 30 days from the date of service. Upon an individual defendant, by personal delivery of true copies of the summons and the complaint to the defendant or other person authorized by appointment or law to receive service of summons on behalf of the defendant, by substituted service, or by office service. Service may also be made upon an individual defendant or other person authorized to receive service by a mailing provided the defendant or other person authorized to receive service signs a receipt for the certified, registered, or express mailing, in which case service shall be complete on the date on which the defendant signs a receipt for the mailing. - Y Y*
Pennsylvania
Pa. R. C. P. No. 400 et seq.
- Original process may be served (1) by handing a copy to the defendant; or (2) by handing a copy (i) at the residence of the defendant to an adult member of the family with whom he resides; but if no adult member of the family is found, then to an adult person in charge of such residence; or (ii) at the residence of the defendant to the clerk or manager of the hotel, inn, apartment house, boarding house or other place of lodging at which he resides; or (iii) at any office or usual place of business of the defendant to his agent or to the person for the time being in charge thereof. - Y* Y*
Rhode Island
Super. R. Div. P. Rule 4
The summons shall bear the signature of the clerk, be under the seal or watermark of the court (which shall be generated by the CMS), identify the court and the parties, be directed to the defendant, and state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney or state the name and address of the self-represented litigant except where prohibited by federal or state law. The summons shall also state the time within which the defendant must appear and defend and shall notify the defendant that failure to do so will result in a judgment by default against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. Upon an individual from whom a waiver has not been obtained and filed, other than an incompetent person, by delivering a copy of the summons, complaint, Language Assistance Notice, and all other required documents to the individual personally or by leaving copies thereof at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein or by delivering a copy of the summons, complaint, Language Assistance Notice, and all other required documents to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process, provided that if the agent is one designated by statute to receive service, such further notice as the statute requires shall be given. If service of the summons, complaint, Language Assistance Notice, and all other required documents is not made upon a defendant within one hundred and twenty (120) days after the commencement of the action the court upon motion or on its own initiative after notice to the plaintiff, shall dismiss the action without prejudice as to that defendant or direct that service be effected within a specified time; provided that if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court shall extend the time for service for an appropriate period. Y Y*
South Carolina
Rule 4, SCRCP
The summons shall be signed by the plaintiff or his attorney, contain the name of the State and county, the name of the court, the file number of the action, and the names of the parties, be directed to the defendant, state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff's address, and the time within which these rules require the defendant to appear and defend, and shall notify him that in case of his failure to do so judgment by default will be rendered against him for the relief demanded in the complaint. Upon an individual other than a minor under the age of 14 years or an incompetent person, by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to him personally or by leaving copies thereof at his dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or by delivering a copy to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process. - Y Y*
South Dakota
SDCL § 15-6-4 et seq.
The summons shall be legibly subscribed by the plaintiff or his attorney and shall include the subscriber's address. It shall be directed to the defendant, and shall require him to answer the complaint and serve a copy of his answer on the subscriber at the subscriber's address within thirty days after the service of the summons, exclusive of the day of service, and shall notify him that in case of his failure to answer, judgment by default may be rendered against him as requested in the complaint. To the defendant personally; Service in the following manner shall also constitute personal service. If the defendant cannot be found conveniently, service may be made by leaving a copy at the defendant's dwelling with someone over the age of fourteen years who resides there. - Y -
Tennessee
Rules Civ. Proc., Rule 4.01 et seq.
The summons shall be issued in the name of the State of Tennessee, be dated and signed by the clerk, contain the name of the court and county, the title of the action, and the file number. The summons shall be directed to the defendant, shall state the time within which these rules require the defendant to appear and defend, and shall notify the defendant that in case of his or her failure to do so judgment by default will be rendered against that defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. The summons shall state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any; otherwise, it shall state the plaintiff's address. Upon an individual other than an unmarried infant or an incompetent person, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally, or if he or she evades or attempts to evade service, by leaving copies thereof at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein, whose name shall appear on the proof of service, or by delivering the copies to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service on behalf of the individual served. - Y -
Texas
TX Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 99 et seq.
The citation shall (1) be styled “The State of Texas,” (2) be signed by the clerk under seal of court, (3) contain name and location of the court, (4) show date of filing of the petition, (5) show date of issuance of citation, (6) show file number, (7) show names of parties, (8) be directed to the defendant, (9) show the name and address of attorney for plaintiff, otherwise the address of plaintiff, (10) contain the time within which these rules require the defendant to file a written answer with the clerk who issued citation, (11) contain address of the clerk, and (12) shall notify the defendant that in case of failure of defendant to file an answer, judgment by default may be rendered for the relief demanded in the petition. The citation shall direct the defendant to file a written answer to the plaintiff's petition on or before 10 a.m. on the Monday next after the expiration of twenty days after the date of service thereof. Unless the citation or an order of the court otherwise directs, the citation shall be served by any person authorized by: (1) delivering to the defendant, in person, a true copy of the citation with the date of delivery endorsed thereon with a copy of the petition attached thereto, or (2) mailing to the defendant by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a true copy of the citation with a copy of the petition attached thereto. - Y Y*
Utah
UT Rules Civ. Proc., Rule 4
Unless otherwise provided, the summons must: (A) contain the name and address of the court, the names of the parties to the action, and the county in which it is brought; (B) be directed to the defendant; (C) state the name, address and telephone number of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, and otherwise the plaintiff's address and telephone number; (D) state the time within which the defendant is required to answer the complaint in writing; (E) notify the defendant that in case of failure to answer in writing, judgment by default will be entered against the defendant; and (F) state either that the complaint is on file with the court or that the complaint will be filed with the court within 10 days after service. Upon any individual other than one provided for otherwise, by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to the individual personally, or by leaving them at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with a person of suitable age and discretion who resides there, or by delivering them to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive process. - Y Y*
Vermont
Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4
The summons shall be signed by the plaintiff's attorney or, if the plaintiff has no attorney, by any Superior Judge or a judge or the clerk of the court to which it is returnable. It shall contain the name and address of the court and the names of the parties, be directed to the defendant, state the name and postal and e-mail addresses of the plaintiff's attorney, and the time and manner within which these rules require the defendant to respond to the complaint, and shall notify defendant that in case of the defendant's failure to do so judgment by default will be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. A summons shall comply with the format provisions of the 2010 or 2020 Vermont Rules for Electronic Filing, if applicable. The plaintiff must include with the summons a blank Notice of Appearance form. Upon an individual by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally or by leaving copies thereof at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein or by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process, provided that if the agent is one designated by statute to receive service, such further notice as the statute requires shall be given. The court, on motion, upon a showing that service as prescribed above cannot be made with due diligence, may order service to be made by leaving a copy of the summons and of the complaint at the defendant's dwelling house or usual place of abode, or to be made by publication, if the court deems publication to be more effective. - Y* Y*
Virginia
VA Code Ann. § 8.01-285 et seq.
In any civil action brought in a circuit court, the mailing of a copy of the pleadings with a notice that the proceedings are pending in the court indicated and that upon the expiration of 10 days after the giving of the notice and the expiration of the statutory period within which to respond. 1. By delivering a copy thereof in writing to the party in person; or 2. By substituted service in the following manner: a. If the party to be served is not found at his usual place of abode, by delivering a copy of such process and giving information of its purport to any person found there, who is a member of his family, other than a temporary sojourner or guest, and who is of the age of 16 years or older; or b. If such service cannot be effected, then by posting a copy of such process at the front door or at such other door as appears to be the main entrance of such place of abode, provided that not less than 10 days before judgment by default may be entered, the party causing service or his attorney or agent mails to the party served a copy of such process and thereafter files in the office of the clerk of the court a certificate of such mailing. - Y Y*
Washington
West's RCWA 4.28.020
The summons for personal service shall contain: (i) The title of the cause, specifying the name of the court in which the action is brought, the name of the county designated by the plaintiff as the place of trial, and the names of the parties to the action, plaintiff and defendant; (ii) A direction to the defendant summoning the defendant to serve a copy of the defendant's defense within a time stated in the summons; (iii) A notice that, in case of failure so to do, judgment will be rendered against the defendant by default. It shall be signed and dated by the plaintiff, or the plaintiff's attorney, with the addition of the plaintiff's post office address, at which the papers in the action may be served on the plaintiff by mail. In all other cases, to the defendant personally, or by leaving a copy of the summons at the house of his or her usual abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then resident therein. - Y* Y*
West Virginia
R.C.P., Rule 4
The summons shall be signed by the clerk, bear the seal of the court, identify the court and the parties, be directed to the defendant, and state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney or, if unrepresented, of the plaintiff. It shall also state the time within which the defendant must appear and defend, and notify the defendant that failure to do so will result in a judgment by default against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. Service upon an individual other than an infant, incompetent person, or convict may be made by: (A) Delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to the individual personally; or (B) Delivering a copy of the summons and complaint at the individual's dwelling place or usual place of abode to a member of the individual's family who is above the age of sixteen (16) years and by advising such person of the purport of the summons and complaint; or (C) Delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to an agent or attorney-in-fact authorized by appointment or statute to receive or accept service of the summons and complaint in the individual's behalf; or (D) The clerk sending a copy of the summons and complaint to the individual to be served by certified mail, return receipt requested, and delivery restricted to the addressee; or (E) The clerk sending a copy of the summons and complaint by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the person to be served, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment conforming substantially to Form 14 and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to the clerk. If service of the summons and complaint is not made upon a defendant within 120 days after the filing of the complaint, the court, upon motion or on its own initiative after notice to the plaintiff, shall dismiss the action without prejudice as to that defendant or direct that service be effected within a specified time; provided that if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court shall extend the time for service for an appropriate period. Y Y*
Wisconsin
W.S.A. 801..01 et seq.
The summons shall contain: (1) The title of the cause, specifying the name of the court in which the action is brought, the name of the county designated by the plaintiff as the place of trial, the standardized description of the case classification type and associated code number as approved by the director of state courts and the names and addresses of the parties to the action, plaintiff and defendant. (2) A direction to the defendant summoning and requiring defendant to serve upon the plaintiff's attorney, whose address shall be stated in the summons, either an answer to the complaint if a copy of the complaint is served with the summons or a demand for a copy of the complaint. The summons shall further direct the defendant to serve the answer or demand for a copy of the complaint within the following periods: 1. Except as otherwise provided, within 20 days, exclusive of the day of service, after the summons has been served personally upon the defendant or served by substitution personally upon another authorized to accept service of the summons for the defendant; 2. If the defendant is the state or an officer, agent, employee, or agency of the state, as to that defendant, within 45 days, exclusive of the day of service, after the summons has been served personally upon the defendant or served by substitution personally upon another authorized to accept service of the summons for the defendant; or 3. Within 45 days, exclusive of the day of service, after the summons has been served personally upon the defendant or served by substitution personally upon another authorized to accept service of the summons for the defendant, if any of the following applies: a. A defendant in the action is an insurance company; or Any cause of action raised in the complaint is founded in tort. Except as otherwise provided, upon a natural person: (a) By personally serving the summons upon the defendant either within or without this state. (b) If with reasonable diligence the defendant cannot be served, then by leaving a copy of the summons at the defendant's usual place of abode: 1. In the presence of some competent member of the family at least 14 years of age, who shall be informed of the contents thereof; 2. In the presence of a competent adult, currently residing in the abode of the defendant, who shall be informed of the contents of the summons; 3. Pursuant to the law for the substituted service of summons or like process upon defendants in actions brought in courts of general jurisdiction of the state in which service is made; or 4. In any case, by serving the summons in a manner specified by any other statute upon the defendant or upon an agent authorized by appointment or by law to accept service of the summons for the defendant. - Y* Y*
Wyoming
Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4
A summons must: (1) name the court and the parties; (2) be directed to the defendant; (3) state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney or--if unrepresented--of the plaintiff; (4) state the time within which the defendant must appear and defend; (5) notify the defendant that a failure to appear and defend may result in a default judgment against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint; (6) be signed by the clerk; and (7) bear the court's seal. An individual other than a person under 14 years of age or an incompetent person may be served within the United States: (1) by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally, (2) by leaving copies thereof at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person over the age of 14 years then residing therein, (3) at the defendant's usual place of business with an employee of the defendant then in charge of such place of business, or (4) by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process. If a defendant is not served within 90 days after the complaint is filed, the court--on motion or on its own after notice to the plaintiff--must dismiss the action without prejudice against that defendant or order that service be made within a specified time. But if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court must extend the time for service for an appropriate period. Y* Y*