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FREE CALIFORNIA LEGAL FORMS
Browse 100’s of available California legal forms and download PDF copies for free.
California Rules of Civil Procedure
The rules and regulations of legal process service.
An Ever Changing Industry
The process service industry is constantly evolving. For up-to-the-minute process service legislation, check the California Judicial Branch website.
California Licensing Requirements
California Process Server Licensing Requirements
If an individual serves more than 10 papers a year they are required to be registered in the county they serve in. Registration is statewide and applicants must be a resident of the State of California for one year immediately preceding filing. There is no testing, or education required. Every applicant is required to post a $2,000 bond or cash deposit. Licensed private investigators are exempt from the registration requirement, but are likely not permitted to serve bank levies and similar documents without being registered per the statutory language requiring that a registered process server serve those documents. [California Business and Professions Code §22350 and §22353]
Does a process server have to be licensed in California?
While there is a California Process Servers License, it is not required by law if the process server is registered and bonded.
California Rules of Procedure
§ 413.10 Law governing service.
Except as otherwise provided by statute, a summons shall be served on a person:
- Within this state, as provided in this chapter.
- Outside this state but within the United States, as provided in this chapter or as prescribed by the law of the place where the person is served.
- Outside the United States, as provided in this chapter or as directed by the court in which the action is pending, or, if the court before or after service finds that the service is reasonably calculated to give actual notice, as prescribed by the law of the place where the person is served or as directed by the foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory. These rules are subject to the provisions of the Convention on the “Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents” in Civil or Commercial Matters (Hague Service Convention). (Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 191, Sec. 1.)
§ 413.20 If a summons is served by mail pursuant to this chapter, the provisions of Section 1013 that extend the time for exercising a right or doing an act shall not extend any time specified in this title. (Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610.)
§ 413.30 Where no provision is made in this chapter or other law for the service of summons, the court in which the action is pending may direct that summons be served in a manner which is reasonably calculated to give actual notice to the party to be served and that proof of such service be made as prescribed by the court. (Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610.)
§ 413.40 Service in violation of law governing process servers. Any service of summons which complies with the provisions of this chapter shall not be rendered invalid or ineffective because it was made by a person in violation of Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 22350 Bus. & Prof.) of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code. (Added by Stats. 1971, Ch. 1661.)
§ 414.10 Authorized persons. A summons may be served by any person who is at least 18 years of age and not a party to the action. (Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610.)
Comment: The 1997 legislature enacted substantial changes in Section 22350, et seq. of the Business and Professions Code, requiring that all process servers who serve process for compensation-and also any corporationor partnership that derives compensation for service of process within California-be registered with the county clerk in the county where he or she resides or has a principal place of business. Licensed private investigators and their employees are among those exempted from registration.
§ 415.10 A summons may be served by personal delivery of a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the person to be served. Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete at the time of such delivery. The date upon which personal delivery is made shall be entered on or affixed to the face of the copy of the summons at the time of its delivery. However, service of a summons without such date shall be valid and effective. (Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 789.)
§ 415.20 Leaving a copy of summons and compliant at office, dwelling house, usual place of abode or business or usual mailing address.
- In lieu of personal delivery of a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the person to be served as specified in Section 416.10, 416.20, 416. 30, 416.40, or 416.50, a summons may be served by leaving a copy of the summons and of the complaint during usual office hours in his or her office with the person who is apparently in charge thereof, and by thereafter mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint (by first-class mail, postage prepaid) to the person to be served at the place where a copy of the summons and of the complaint were left. Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete on the 10th day after such mailing.
- If a copy of the summons and of the complaint cannot with reasonable diligence be personally delivered to the person to be served as specified in Section 416.60, 416.70, 416.80, or 416.90, a summons may be served by leaving a copy of the summons and of the complaint at such person’s dwelling house, usual place of abode, usual place of business, or usual mailing address other than a United States Postal Service post office box, in the presence of a competent member of the household or a person apparently in charge of his or her office, place of business, or usual mailing address other than a United States Postal Service post office box, at least 18 years of age, who shall be informed of the contents thereof, and by thereafter mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint (by first-class mail, postage prepaid) to the person to be served at the place where a copy of the summons and of the complaint were left. Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete on the 10th day after the mailing. (Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1416, Sec. 15.)
§ 415.21 Access to gated communities.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person shall be granted access to a gated community … for the purpose of performing lawful service of process, upon identifying to the guard the person or persons to be served, and upon displaying a current driver’s license or other identification, and one of the follow: (1) a badge [applies to sheriffs and marshals] (2) evidence of current registration as a process server…
(b)This section shall only apply to a gated community which is staffed, at the time service of process is attempted, by a guard or other … personnel assigned to control access…
§ 415.30 Service by mail. [describes mail service by sending a copy of summons and complaint by first-class mail or airmail to the defendant, together with 2 copies of notice and acknowledgment form; service is complete on date defendant executes a written acknowledgment; if form not returned within 20 days from mailing, defendant will be liable for reasonable costs in being served by another permitted method]
§ 415.40 Service on person outside of state. A summons may be served on a person outside this state in any manner provided in this article or by sending a copy of the summons and complaint to the person to be served by first class mail, postage prepaid, requireing a return receipt. Service of summons by this form of mail is deemed complete on the 10th day after such mailing.
§ 415.95 Service on a business – form unknown.
(a) A summons may be served on a business organization, form unknown, by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint during usual office hours with the person who is apparently in charge of the office of that business organization, and by thereafter mailing a copy … by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the person to be served at the place where a copy of the summons was left. Service of a summons in this maner is deemed complete on the 10th day after the mailing.
(b) Service of a summons pursuant to this section is not valid for a corporation with a registerd agent for sevice of process listed with the Secretary of State.
§ 416.10 Corporations. A summons may be served on a corporation by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint:
(a) to the person designated as agent for service of process as provided by any provision in…
(b) to the president or other head of the corporation, a vice president, a secretary or assistant secretary, a treasurer or assistant treasurer, a general managre, or a person authorized by the corporation to receive…
§ 417.10 Proof of Service-Service within state. Proof that a summons was erved on a person within state shall be made:
(a) If served under §§ 415.10, 415.20 or 415.30, by the affidavit of the peson making such service showing the time, place, and manner of service and facts showing that service was made in accordance with this chapter. [It] shall recite … the name of the person to whom a copy … was delivered, and, if appropriate, his title or capacity in which he is served, and the notice required by § 412.30 appeared on the copy .. served, if in fact it did appear.
(f) All proof of personal service shall be made on a form adopted by the Judicial Council.
§ 2015.5 Certification or declaration under penalty of perjury.
Whenever, under any law of this state … any matter is required or permited to be supported, evidenced, established, or proved by the sworn statement, declaration, verification, certicate, oath, or affidavit, in writing of the person making same (other than deposition, or an oath of office, an oath required to be taken before a specified official other than notary public), such a matter may like force and effect be … proved by the unsworn statement, declaration, verification, or certificate, in writing of such person … The certificate or declaration may be in substantially the following form:
(a) If executed within this state:
“I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct: (Date and Place) (Signature)”
(b) If executed … within or without this state:
“I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct: (Date and place) (Signature)”
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California Court Houses
Need to mail one of California’s 58 local county court houses? Find their mailing addresses below.
PO Box 130
Alturas, CA 96101-0130
175 Fulweiler Avenue
Auburn, CA 95603-4543
1115 Truxtun Avenue, 5th Floor
Bakersfield, CA 93301-4617
P.O. Box 715
Bridgeport, CA 93517-0715
546 Jay Street
Colusa, CA 95932-2400
981 H Street
Crescent City, CA 95531-3415
P.O. Box D
Downieville, CA 95936-0398
940 West Main Street, Suite 204
El Centro, CA 92243-2869
825 5th Street
Eureka, CA 95501-1153
675 Texas Street
Fairfield, CA 94533-0000
1100 Van Ness Avenue
Fresno, CA 93721-2016
1400 West Lacey Boulevard
Hanford, CA 93230-5905
481 Fourth Street
Hollister, CA 95023-3840
P.O. Box N
Independence, CA 93526-0000
810 Court Street
Jackson, CA 95642-9534
255 North Forbes Street
Lakeport, CA 95453-4759
500 W. Temple Street Ste. 525
Los Angeles, CA 90012-2713
209 W. Yosemite Avenue
Madera, CA 93637-3534
5100 Bullion Street
Mariposa, CA 95338-0000
P.O. BOX 158 (99 Water Street)
Markleeville, CA 96120-0158
651 Pine Street, Room 106
Martinez, CA 94553-1229
2222 M Street
Merced, CA 95340-3729
1010 Tenth Street, Suite 6500
Modesto, CA 95354-0847
1195 3rd Street, Rm 310
Napa, CA 94559-3035
950 Maidu Avenue
Nevada City, CA 95959-8617
1221 Oak Street, Suite 536
Oakland, CA 94612-4224
25 County Center Drive
Oroville, CA 95965-3316
25 County Center Drive
Oroville, CA 95965-3316
330 Fair Lane
Placerville, CA 95667-4103
520 Main Street, Room 309
Quincy, CA 95971-9115
332 Pine Street, PO Box 250
Red Bluff, CA 96080-3312
1815 Yuba Street, Suite 2
Redding, CA 96001-1723
400 County Center
Redwood City, CA 94063-1668
4080 Lemon Street, 12th Floor
Riverside, CA 92501-3679
720 9th St
Sacramento, CA 95814
230 Church Street
Salinas, CA 93901-2695
891 Mountain Ranch Road
San Andreas, CA 95249-9713
385 North Arrowhead Avenue
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0110
1600 Pacific Highway, Room 209
San Diego, CA 92101-2429
1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102-4603
70 W Hedding, 10th Floor
San Jose, CA 95110-0000
San Luis Obispo
1050 Monteray, Room 370
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408-2040
Marin Civic Center, Room 329
San Rafael, CA 94903-0000
10 Civic Center Plaza
Santa Ana, CA 92701-4017
105 E Anapamu Street, Room 407
Santa Barbara, CA 93101-6054
701 Ocean Street, Rm 500
Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4003
600 Administration Drive
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
2 South Green Street
Sonora, CA 95370-4618
222 East Weber Ave 707
Stockton, CA 95202-2709
221 South Roop Street
Susanville, CA 96130-0000
501 Low Gap Road
Ukiah, CA 95482-3734
800 S Victoria Avenue
Ventura, CA 93009-0001
2800 West Burrel
Visalia, CA 93291-0000
101 Court Street, PO Box 1613
Weaverville, CA 96093-1613
526 West Sycamore Street
Willows, CA 95988-2746
625 Court Street
Woodland, CA 95695-3448
P.O. Box 338
Yreka, CA 96097-0338
1160 Civic Center Blvd, Ste A
Yuba City, CA 95993-3007
Associations are a great way to grow your business. Find the major associations related to your business below.
- Association of Credit and Collection Professionals
- National Association of Credit Management
- International Association of Commercial Collectors
- California Association of Collectors
- National Federation of Paralegal Associations
- National Association of Legal Assistants
- American Alliance of Paralegals
- American Association for Paralegal Education
- California Alliance of Paralegal Associations
- San Francisco Paralegal Association
- Los Angeles Paralegal Association
- Central Coast Paralegal Association
- Orange County Paralegal Association
- Sacramento Valley Paralegal Association
- San Diego Paralegal Association