Understanding Legal Service of Process
Methods of Making Long-Arm Service
Methods of Making Long-Arm Service
Long-Arm Service on a Non-Resident of Louisiana (Inside the USA)
A sheriff in Louisiana is only authorized to make service of process within the state of Louisiana. The Clerk of Court where the petition has been filed will not arrange service on out-of-state defendants. It is the responsibility of the petitioner to arrange service.
How to Accomplish Long-Arm Service
Step 1: First, a certified copy of the petition and the citation should be obtained from the Clerk of Court. 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 small fee for getting a certified copy from the court.
Step 2: Second, the filing party should send the certified copy to the out-of-state party. The filing party must send the certified copy in one of the following ways:
by registered or certified U.S. Mail or commercial courier;
by an officer authorized to make service where the defendant resides; or
by a private process server authorized by the Court.
By Registered or Certified U.S. Mail or Commercial Courier
Long-arm service by registered or certified U.S. mail must be properly addressed to the party at their place of domicile or postal address and mailed with proper postage. This type of service may also be accomplished by use of a commercial courier such as FedEx or UPS. Whether a commercial courier or the U.S. Postal Service is used, a proof of delivery receipt or a delivery confirmation is required.
When service is accomplished by registered or certified U.S. Mail or commercial courier, an Affidavit of Long-Arm Service must be prepared and filed with the Court.
If service was accomplished with registered or certified U.S. Mail, the Affidavit of Long-Arm Service must state that the filing party mailed process to the defendant, enclosed in an envelope with proper postage and properly addressed; identify the contents (citation and certified copy of the petition) of the envelope; and the date it was deposited in the U.S. mail. The U.S. Mail return receipt card (green card) must be attached to the affidavit.
If you utilized the services of a commercial courier to make delivery of the process to the defendant, the Affidavit of Long-Arm Service must state the name of the commercial courier; the date; the address at which the process was delivered to the defendant. To this affidavit, the commercial courtier’s confirmation of delivery must be attached.
By an Officer Authorized to Make Service Where the Defendant Resides
This will usually require the process being mailed to a sheriff in another state with an accompanying affidavit if the out-of-state sheriff does not have one. A fee is usually charged by the out-of-state sheriff. You should contact the Clerk of Court in the county where the party to be served resides and ask about long arm service, including whether an Affidavit of Long-Arm Service should be provided and the cost for service.
It is the responsibility of the party requesting service to facilitate long arm service through an authorized officer and ensure the filing of the Affidavit of Long-Arm Service with the Clerk of Court in Louisiana.
Private Process Server Authorized by the Court
When service is accomplished by private process server, the Affidavit of Long-Arm Service should state that the certified copy of the petition and citation was actually delivered to the defendant by the process server, and showing the date, place, and manner of delivery.
It is important to be aware of court rules regarding the setting of hearing dates when service is accomplished by the long-arm process. When long-arm service is used, a default judgment cannot be rendered against a defendant and no hearing can be held (except for domestic violence protective order cases) until thirty (30) days after the filing of the Affidavit of Long-Arm Service in the suit record.