Q: How to serve the Defendant documents in a federal civil case?

Hi, I am the Plaintiff in a federal civil case. I do not have attorney yet. I have 3 simple questions.

1, After I serve the original complaint and summons, can I serve other documents to Defendant MYSELF? I mean, can I sign the Certificate of Service and proof the service myself?

2, The Defendant has an attorney. Shall I serve both the Defendant and his attorney? Or shall I serve the attorney ONLY?

3, If there is a deadline to serve, let’s say the deadline for Initial Discovery is July 30 and I am going to serve by mail, can I send the mail on July 30? Or the deadline means the mail of Initial Discovery must be DELIVERED by July 30?

Thanks a lot!

1 Lawyer Answer
Dan Rowan Cortright
Dan Rowan Cortright
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sebastopol, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: 1) yes, you can serve documents yourself after the Summons/Complaint are served by a process server (or someone other than yourself)

2) you must serve defendant's counsel with all papers in the case, not the defendant himself

3) service deadlines mean the documents must be postmarked by the deadline date.

1 user found this answer helpful

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