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California Process Serving Laws

(Rules of Civil Procedure in the United States)

 

Quick Answers:

 

Who can be a process server in California?

Any adult over the age of eighteen (18) years old, that is not a party to the case, or a member of a corporation or organization that is a party, may serve (deliver) the papers. 

 

Does California require process servers to be licensed?

According to the California Business and Professions Code 22350 and 22353: Persons who serve more than 10 papers a year are required to be registered in the county in which they operate. Registration is valid statewide. Applicants must be a resident for one year immediately preceding filing. Each applicant is required to post a $2,000 bond or cash deposit. No testing or education required. Licensed private investigators, although exempt from the registration requirement, would probably not be empowered to serve bank levies and similar documents without being registered in view of the statutory language requiring that a registered process server serve those documents.

Are there any day or time restrictions to service of process in California?
No.

 





 

California Rules of Civil Procedure are from CivilProcedure.info Federal Rules of Civil Procedure site

 

Because the laws of process service may change from time to time, please check the California Courts website for updated rules of civil procedure in California.

 





 

Rules of Civil Procedure in California:

413.10:

Except as otherwise provided by statute, a summons shall be served on a person:

  1. Within this state, as provided in this chapter.
  2. Outside this state but within the United States, as provided in this chapter or as prescribed by the law of the place where the person is served.
  3. Outside the United States, as provided in this chapter or as directed by the court in which the action is pending, or, if the court before or after service finds that the service is reasonably calculated to give actual notice, as prescribed by the law of the place where the person is served or as directed by the foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory. These rules are subject to the provisions of the Convention on the "Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents" in Civil or Commercial Matters (Hague Service Convention).
    (Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 191, Sec. 1.)

413.20:

If a summons is served by mail pursuant to this chapter, the provisions of Section 1013 that extend the time for exercising a right or doing an act shall not extend any time specified in this title.
(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610.)


413.30:

Where no provision is made in this chapter or other law for the service of summons, the court in which the action is pending may direct that summons be served in a manner which is reasonably calculated to give actual notice to the party to be served and that proof of such service be made as prescribed by the court.
(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610.)


413.40:

Any service of summons which complies with the provisions of this chapter shall not be rendered invalid or ineffective because it was made by a person in violation of Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 22350 Bus. & Prof.) of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code.
(Added by Stats. 1971, Ch. 1661.)
 


414.10:

A summons may be served by any person who is at least 18 years of age and not a party to the action.
(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610.)
 


415.10:

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. The date upon which personal delivery is made shall be entered on or affixed to the face of the copy of the summons at the time of its delivery. However, service of a summons without such date shall be valid and effective.
(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 789.)
 


415.20:

  1. In lieu of personal delivery of a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the person to be served as specified in Section 416.10, 416.20, 416. 30, 416.40, or 416.50, a summons may be served by leaving a copy of the summons and of the complaint during usual office hours in his or her office with the person who is apparently in charge thereof, and by thereafter mailing a copy of the summons and of the 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. Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete on the 10th day after such mailing.
  2. If a copy of the summons and of the complaint cannot with reasonable diligence be personally delivered to the person to be served as specified in Section 416.60, 416.70, 416.80, or 416.90, a summons may be served by leaving a copy of the summons and of the complaint at such person's dwelling house, usual place of abode, usual place of business, or usual mailing address other than a United States Postal Service post office box, in the presence of a competent member of the household or a person apparently in charge of his or her office, place of business, or usual mailing address other than a United States Postal Service post office box, at least 18 years of age, who shall be informed of the contents thereof, and by thereafter mailing a copy of the summons and of the 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. Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete on the 10th day after the mailing.
    (Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1416, Sec. 15.)

Search-For-Servers.com does not warrant the accuracy of these laws. The laws listed on Search-For-Servers.com are only a starting point for reference, and are not meant to be legal advice or a replacement for legal console. Please consult a process server in your area, county, or state if you have any questions about process service there.

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