Divorcing a Military or Imprisoned Spouse
Service on Incarcerated Persons
Persons Incarcerated in Louisiana
The Clerk of Court where the suit is filed will facilitate service. If the person is incarcerated in the same parish as the court where the suit is filed, the service is usually made personally on the incarcerated person in jail. If the incarcerated person is out of parish, the process is sent to the sheriff in the parish where the incarcerated person is located. In most instances they will “deliver” the process to the warden at the prison facility and this is where additional safeguards of the process (delivery of the citation and certified copy of the petition) is provided by law.
NOTES on Facilitating Service on Persons Incarcerated in Louisiana
● Providing the incarcerated person's personally identifying details such as the DOC number is helpful. For help finding this information, see http://www.doc.la.gov/quicklinks/offender-info/offender-locator/.
● When service is made on the warden or his designee at the prison, proof of that service may be filed in the suit record by the affidavit of the prison official who served the citation and certified copy of the petition on the incarcerated person. You may have to provide a fill-in-the-blank affidavit for the prison official (usually done by sending it to the Clerk of Court with the petition). It may be more likely that an affidavit provided by the petitioner is filed than for the warden or his designee to prepare and file an affidavit.
● If that affidavit is not forthcoming, the petitioner is able to rely on the notice of service from the clerk of court that the prison official/incarcerated person was served. But, service will be deemed to have been accomplished ten (10) days from when the prison official received the process.
Persons Incarcerated in Another State (Long Arm)
This type of service is somewhat complicated, as there is an overlapping of service under the long-arm-service statute and service on an incarcerated person. It also depends on whether the incarcerated spouse is in federal prison or state prison. Service in federal prisons usually requires that the local authorized person in that state (sheriff or constable) make the service. The Clerk of Court where the suit has been filed will not make service for out-of-state defendants. The petitioner has to facilitate it.
NOTES on Facilitating Long Service on Incarcerated Persons
● For federal prison requirements and more information, see http://www.bop.gov/iloc2/LocateInmate.jsp.
● It is advisable to call the prison facility to find out what is needed, as well as applicable costs. An affidavit may need to be provided to the out-of-state warden or sheriff.
● The petitioner will need to mail the process by certified or registered mail to the person authorized to make service in the other state (similar to the long-arm-service statute).
● The resulting proof of service that gets submitted to the court should include: the petitioner’s affidavit and green card receipt that that process was mailed out together with the affidavit of the prison officer or authorized person that they did make service on the defendant.
● Since you are likely to incur a fee for the out-of-state service, there is a greater likelihood that the prison officer or authorized person will execute and return an affidavit evidencing that service was made. But, if no affidavit is forthcoming, the petitioner could rely on the long-arm-service receipt. Service (cautious in covering all bases) could be deemed to have been accomplished ten (10) days from when the prison official signed the green card plus the thirty (30) days from when your long-arm-service affidavit is filed into the suit record, for a total of forty (40) days.