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Law Offices of
Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
Free Legal Review
Fill out the form below and
submit it for a free legal
review of your case.
Your name:
Your email address:
Your phone number:
Briefly explain your
legal matter:
Call 623-738-LAW1 now
for a free legal consultation
Follow Stephanie Online!

Blog

Twitter

Linked In
Law Offices of
Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
Free Legal Review
Fill out the form below and
submit it for a free legal
review of your case.
Your name:
Your email address:
Your phone number:
Briefly explain your
legal matter:
Call 623-738-LAW1 now
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Law Offices of
Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
HELPFUL INFORMATION ON SERVING THE OTHER PARTY

SERVING THE OTHER PARTY:
•        After you have filed your court papers with the Clerk of the Court,
you must serve the papers on the other party.
•        Service means giving legal notice to the other party (or parties)  that you have
filed court papers.  You must provide proof of service to the court.
•        This packet explains the steps you need to take to serve the
other party and what forms you must use.
•        By completing the steps for service, you tell the court that the other party has
received a copy of the court papers.  After the other party is served, the other party
will be given a time limit to file a Response or Answer.  The Response or Answer is
the other party’s written statement to your request. The Response or Answer tells
you, and the court, what the other party wants.

METHODS OF SERVICE:
Read the choices below to make sure that you are using the correct service packet.  
Each packet contains instructions and the forms you may need.  Select the method of
service that works best for you.  
1.        
You Know Where the Other Party Lives in the State of Arizona:

A.        Service by Acceptance.  This method requires you to give, or mail, the court
papers to the other party and include an “Acceptance of Service” form.  The other
party must sign the “Acceptance of Service” form in front of a Notary Public and
return it to you.  The other party cannot sign the “Acceptance of Service” until after
you have filed the court papers with the court. The other party’s signature on the
“Acceptance of Service” does not mean that he/she agrees with the court papers.   It
means that the other party admits receiving the papers, without being served in
person by the sheriff or a process server.

Do not give the original “Summons” to the other party.  You must return the original
“Summons” to the Clerk at the filing counter.  Service is complete at the time the
other party signs the “Acceptance of Service.” If you choose this method of service,
use the “Acceptance of Service” forms.

WARNING: Do not use this method of service if you are the victim of domestic
violence, or believe the other party will hurt you, take your money, or take your
children.  If you believe the other party will become violent or uncooperative when
you ask him/her to accept service, use one of the methods of service described below.

B.        Service by Registered Process Server.  This method requires you to hire, and
pay, a registered process server to serve the other party with court papers.  A process
server is a person who will give the papers to the other party at home, work, or other
location.  This method of service costs more than service by acceptance and requires
the process server to find the other party.  If you decide to use this method, look
under "PROCESS SERVER" in the Yellow Pages to find someone who can serve your
papers.  Service is complete at the time the process server hands the other party the
court papers.  If you choose this method of service, use the “Service by Process
Server” form.

C.        Service by Sheriff.  This method requires you to contact the Sheriff's Office in
the county where the other party lives to arrange for a Sheriff's deputy to give the
other party the court papers.  This method requires you to pay a fee to the Sheriff's
Office, unless you receive a fee waiver or deferral.  The fee waiver or deferral form
that Arizona uses is available at the Self-Service Center and is only for persons who
cannot afford the cost of service and meet certain financial requirements.  The fee
waiver and deferral form requires you to explain to the Sheriff why your situation
requires you to use this method of service.

Service is complete at the time the sheriff or deputy hands the other party the court
papers.  If you choose this method of service, use the “Service by Sheriff” form.

D.        Service of Family Court Papers.  For information specific to serving Family
Court papers,  see “How to Serve Family Court Papers by Mail or Other Delivery
Service with Signature Confirmation” contained in this packet.

E.        Other Methods of Service.  There may be other ways to serve the other party.  
To learn more about these other ways, you should see a lawyer for help.

2.        
You Know Where the Other Party Lives in the United States but he/she does
not live in the State of Arizona.
 (If the other party lives outside of the United States,
you should see a lawyer to find out which method of service will work best for you.)

A.        Service by Acceptance.  This method requires you to give or mail the court
papers to the other party and include an “Acceptance of Service” form.  The other
party must sign the “Acceptance of Service” form in front of a Notary Public and
return it to you.  The other party cannot sign the “Acceptance of Service” until after
you have filed the court papers with the court. The other party’s signature on the
“Acceptance of Service” does not mean that he/she agrees with the court papers.   It
means that the other party admits receiving the papers, without being served in
person by the sheriff or a process server.

Do not give the original “Summons” to the other party.  You must return the original
“Summons” to the Clerk at the filing counter.  Service is complete at the time the
other party signs the “Acceptance of Service.”  If you choose this method of service,
use the “Acceptance of Service” forms.    WARNING: Do not use this method of
service if you are the victim of domestic violence, or believe the other party will hurt
you, take your money, or take your children.  
If you believe the other party will become violent or uncooperative when you ask
him/her to accept service, use one of the methods of service described below.

B.        Service by Certified Mail.  Use this method of service only if the other party
lives outside the State of Arizona and you know the address, or you are serving
papers for a Family Court case (If so, see “How to Serve Family Court Papers by
Mail or Other Delivery Service with Signature Confirmation” contained in this
packet).  This method of service allows you to give notice by a special type of mail.  
You can send the court papers by giving the post office copies of the court papers in
an envelope, postage prepaid, to be sent to the other party by any form of mail
requiring a signed and returned receipt.  This is often called Certified Mail,
Restricted Delivery by the post office.  This means that the other party must sign for
the papers.

If the other party signs a receipt (green card) for the papers, the green card will be
returned to you in the mail.   You must then file an affidavit with the court stating
(1) that the person being served is known to be located outside the State of Arizona,
(2) that the court papers were sent to the other party, (3) that the papers were
received by the other party, as evidenced by the green card, a copy of which you
attach to the affidavit; and (4) the date the party received the documents.   A copy of
the affidavit you will need is provided in the packet.

C.        Service by Registered Process Server.  This method requires you to hire, and
pay, a registered process server to serve the other party with court papers.  A process
server is a person who will give the papers to the other party at home, work, or other
location.   This method of service costs more than service by acceptance and requires
the process server to find the other party.  If you decide to use this method, look
under "PROCESS SERVER" in the Yellow Pages to find someone who can serve your
papers.  Service is complete at the time the process server hands the other party the
court papers.  If you choose this method of service, use the “Service by Process
Server” form.

D.        Service by Sheriff.  This method requires you to contact the Sheriff's Office
in the county where the other party lives to arrange for a Sheriff's deputy to give the
other party the court papers.  This method requires you to pay a fee to the Sheriff's
Office, unless you receive a fee waiver or deferral.  The fee waiver or deferral form
that Arizona uses, is available at the Self-Service Center and is only for persons who
cannot afford the cost of service and meet certain financial requirements.  The fee
waiver and deferral form requires you to explain to the Sheriff why your situation
requires you to use this method of service.

Service is complete at the time the sheriff or deputy hands the other party the court
papers.  If you choose this method of service, use the “Service by Sheriff “ form.

E.        Other Methods of Service.  There may be other ways to serve the other party.  
To learn more about these other ways, you should see a lawyer for help.

3.        You Cannot Find the Other Party.

A.        Service by Publication. You may use this method only if you do not know
where the other party lives, or cannot find the other party.  Service by publication is
your "last resort." It is used only if you do not have a current address for the other
party and have tried, unsuccessfully, to find the other party.  Service by Publication
can be expensive and may delay your court case.  

WARNING: YOU GENERALLY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ESTABLISH OR
CHANGE CHILD SUPPORT OR SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE (alimony) WITH
SERVICE BY PUBLICATION!  

This method requires that information from the “Summons” be published in a
newspaper in Maricopa County once a week for four weeks in a row if the other
party’s last known address was in Maricopa County or the other party’s last known
address was not in Arizona.  If the other party’s last known address was in Arizona,
but not in Maricopa County, a copy of the summons must be published in a
newspaper in Maricopa County, and the county in which the other party’s last
known address is. To use this method, you must fill out several forms including the
“Declaration Supporting Publication”  explaining to the court what you have done to
try to find the other party.  Service is complete thirty (30) days after the date of the
first publication.  

TIPS FOR FINDING THE OTHER PARTY:

A.        Before the Court will accept Service by Publication, you must have made
every reasonable effort to find the other party (or parties) and to give actual notice of
this case by personal service of the required documents.  You will be required to
state, under penalty of perjury, the steps you have taken to try to locate the other
parties and if the Court is not satisfied that you have taken all reasonable steps, your
case may be delayed until the Court is satisfied all such steps have been taken.  
Examples of steps you MUST take: verify the Respondent is not at any last known
address(es), talk to Respondent’s friends, family members, employer, co-workers
former co-workers or employer(s), or anyone else you think may have a current
address. Search telephone directories, the Internet, voter registration records,
obituaries, and even the morgue. You may also have to consider hiring a private
detective or a company that charges a fee to do computer searches to help you track
down the other party.  If you know the other party’s date of birth and/or Social
Security Number, this method may work for you.  

B.        The Court requires you to file an “Affidavit Supporting Publication” a
statement affirming or swearing under oath that you have done everything possible
to try to find the other party.  

WHEN IS A WRITTEN RESPONSE TO THE COURT PAPERS DUE?

•        LOOK AT THE TIMETABLE BELOW.  If the last day for the other party to
respond falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, you do not count that day.  The
last day you count to determine if you can file the default papers, must be a day
when this court is open for business.
•        INCLUDE WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS.   In counting the days, include
weekends and holidays until you reach the number of days in the Timetable below.  
If the other party files a written response with the court, you CANNOT GO BY
DEFAULT.

DEFAULT TIMETABLE IN ARIZONA
“Acceptance of Service” 20 days after other party signs “Acceptance of Service”
Process Server 20 days after other party receives papers from process server
Sheriff 20 days after other party receives papers from sheriff

DEFAULT TIMETABLE OUT OF STATE
“Acceptance of Service” 30 days after other party signs “Acceptance of Service”
Registered mail 30 days after other party signs green card
Process Server 30 days after other party receives papers from process server
Sheriff 30 days after other party receives papers from sheriff
Publication 60 days after the 1st day of publication
Free Legal Review
Fill out the form below and
submit it for a free legal
review of your case.
Your name:
Your email address:
Your phone number:
Briefly explain your
legal matter:
Call 623-738-LAW1 now
for a free legal consultation