Step 3 – How to Serve The Summons to the Defendant:
(Rule 4(c) explains this section)
A Summons must be served with a copy of the Complaint to each Defendant within 90 days after filing the Complaint with the Clerk of Court by a responsible party who is at least 18 years old & not a party in the case. At the Plaintiff’s request, the court may order that service be made by a U.S. marshal or deputy marshal or by a person specially appointed by the court. The court must so order if the Plaintiff is authorized to proceed with a Court Fee Waiver (see in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. §1915 or as a seaman under 28 U.S.C. §1916 to learn about Court Fee Waivers). (Rule 4(c) explains this section) There are several methods in which an individual may serve a Defendant(s). These methods are explained in Rules 4(e) through (j), depending on who or which type of individual or organization is being served:
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- (e) Serving an Individual Within a Judicial District of the United States.
- (f) Serving an Individual in a Foreign Country.
- (g) Serving a Minor or an Incompetent Person.
- (h) Serving a Corporation, Partnership, or Association.
- (i) Serving the United States and its Agencies, Corporations, Officers, or Employees.
- (j) Serving a Foreign, State, or Local Government.
If You are Seeking to Recover Property that was Wrongfully Taken from You:
Note: Rule (n) is self-explanatory, so there is no summary- only a transcript:
(n) Asserting Jurisdiction Over Property or Assets.
(1) Federal Law. The court may assert jurisdiction over property if authorized by a federal statute. Notice to claimants of the property must be given as provided in the statute or by serving a summons under this rule.
(2) State Law. On a showing that personal jurisdiction over a defendant cannot be obtained in the district where the action is brought by reasonable efforts to serve a summons under this rule, the court may assert jurisdiction over the defendant’s assets found in the district. Jurisdiction is acquired by seizing the assets under the circumstances and in the manner provided by state law in that district.