Issue Guide: Understanding Service of Process
Acceptance or Waiver of Service
What is waiver of service and when is it used?
Service of process can be accomplished by a waiver, or acceptance, of service. A party may be willing to waive or accept service for many reasons. To waive or accept service, the other party must be willing to accept a certified copy of the citation and petition and sign a written waiver. In cases of divorce, the written waiver must be in the form of an affidavit sworn and signed by the other party before a notary public.
How to Accomplish Service By Acceptance or Waiver
Waiver of service is accomplished by a few steps:
First, a certified copy of the petition that a party filed with the Court must be given to the party waiving service before the waiver is executed. The filing party is responsible for obtaining a certified copy of their pleading or other document from the Clerk of Court to provide to the other party. There is a minimal fee associated with obtaining a certified copy from the court.
Next, prepare an Affidavit of Waiver of Service and Citation. The party waiving service will need to sign the affidavit acknowledging receipt of a certified copy of the petition; waiving formal citation; service of process; all legal delays; notice of trial; and appearance at trial. The party waiving service will need to return the affidavit to the filing party.
Once the signed Affidavit of Waiver of Service and Citation is received from the party waiving service, file it, along with your Affidavit of Service, with the Court.
A default judgment can be obtained once the waiver is filed in the suit record, but note that waiver of service does not preclude you from raising any potential defenses.
It is important to look up the local rules to ensure all documents are filed within the appropriate deadlines.
Forms to Use for Divorce Waiver