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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"
Edmund Burke

Last updated March 14, 2009


Service means you must make sure the other party receives a timely copy of every document you file with the court. Even if their attorney is electronically notified by the court, unless they waive service from you in writing you MUST send them a copy of every document. Their time to respond, and many of the court proceedings, are based upon timely service. Failure to properly serve the other side can subject you to being sanctioned by the court which could include your acse being dismissed.

When you initiate a lawsuit, under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("F.R.C.P.") you are required to serve the defendant in no more than 120 days. If the dendant is an individual, you can serve them according to the laws of the state in which they live. Usually, not always, service by mail will be sufficient for the court. Check the state laws to make sure. Proof of timely and adequate service is the responsibility of the oarty filing the complaint. If the defendant is a corporation, you must serve them or their registered agent. This gets tricky. You can send them, the registered agent and/or the corporation, a "waiver of service" (remember your "Set Up" instructions?) whereby they waive physical service. Federal law "encourages" the other side to waive personal service to save time and costs. If they waiver physical sevice then they have until the date on the waiver to respond which gives them more time.

These statements are the ones we used when we sued Chalk & Vermilion Fine Arts & Sevenarts:

Certificate of Service

I HEREBY CERTIFY that on this 12h Day of December, 2005, a true and correct copy of the Complaint for Declaratory Judgment for Copyright Noninfringement And Injunctive Relief was mailed, with all attachments, postage prepaid, Priority Mail with delivery confirmation to:

CT Corporation
111 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 1011

Joel Lever Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin Lever & Goodman, LLP
One North Broadway, 10th Floor
White Plains, NY 10601
Phone 914-285-9800

Michael Meadors

This is an exmple only. You will have to provide the wording that applies to your situation. Do not copy and use as you will be wrong.

Here we were mailing a copying of the complaint, with all attachements, to the registered agent for Chalk & Vermilion Fine Arts and the lawyer for Sevenarts. They waived service by having a Denver-based lawyer enter the case on their behalf.

If the other party does not waive service you must have them served by a process server.

There are plenty of examples on the internet. Find them, read them, and use what you like.


We are not lawyers and we cannot give you legal advice. Our opinions and the information provided is based upon our experiences in federal court as well as research. You should always contact an attorney if you have a legal problem.

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