A Guide to Serving Defendants Outside of New York

Serving defendants across state lines can be tricky. In some states like Florida, papers cannot be served on Sundays or holidays. California prohibits certain types of papers to be served after 8:00 PM. Each state has its own process serving rules and failure to follow them can invalidate your case.

When taking legal action against a person or entity who lives in another state, it’s best to hire a skilled process server to ensure papers are delivered in adherence to state regulations. An experienced process server will make sure that court documents and subpoenas are handed to the right person on time and without error.

Serving out-of-state defendants

When the party to be served resides out of state, a copy of the paperwork can be delivered to the defendant by postage first-class mail. The person who mails the documents must be at least 18 years old and not involved in the case.

Another option is to hire a process server residing in the state in which the defendant lives. The process server can hand deliver a copy of the complaint and the summons to the intended recipient or leave copies of the papers at the defendant’s home or workplace. The method of delivery will largely depend on the state’s process serving regulations.

Serving multiple defendants

When serving multiple defendants, legal papers shall be issued to each and every defendant involved in the case. It is not sufficient to serve one defendant and assume that the individual or entity will inform the other defendants. This also applies even when the defendants are married, living under the same roof, or are doing business together. State-specific rules governing process service will also apply.

Serving domesticated subpoenas

When it comes to serving domesticated subpoenas, the Rules of Civil Procedure to be observed will depend on the jurisdiction where discovery is being carried out. In other words, if you wish to pursue a witness in New York for a case in Arizona, New York’s Rules of Civil Procedure will apply.

lawyer with client

Once the subpoena has been served, all depositions, testimonies, and retrieval of documents carried out anywhere in New York must adhere to corresponding state rules.

Prior to the implementation of CPLR 3119 in 2011 by New York, conducting discovery in New York for out-of-state cases was often laborious. The out-of-state party had to hire a New York-based lawyer, go through a formal proceeding, and acquire a court order before a subpoena for documents and depositions could be issued.

Under CPLR 3119, you don’t need to appear in New York court to obtain a domesticated foreign subpoena. You simply have to submit an out-of-state subpoena to the clerk in the county where discovery is sought.  If all relevant forms are in order, the clerk shall sign, seal, and issue it for service upon the intended recipient.

Work with reputable process servers

At Serve Index LLC, we go above and beyond to ensure legal papers are delivered successfully.

Our proven track record combined with our vast industry knowledge have helped law firms and civilians strengthen their cases and reduce legal costs.

Our clients benefit from real-time updates, witness fee calculations, and reliable GPS tracking. We also specialize in skip tracing, court filing, mobile notary services, and document retrieval.

Take control of your legal needs and contact us today.

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