Citation and Service of Process

AuthorScott Brister (Ret.)/Dan S. Boyd
Chapter 10
Definitions: Service of process notifies defendants of claims against them and is necessary, though not
always sufficient, for personal jurisdiction. Process consists of the complaint and the citation. The citation is
the document that advises defendant of the suit, the time limits for responding, and the consequences of fail-
ing to respond.
Scope of chapter: How to serve process; who can serve process; whom to serve; citation requirements; return of
service; amending citation and return; waiving service; pleading service facts; challenging service.
Strategies and tactics: Plaintiff’s strict compliance with the rules for service of process is critical to support a
default judgment. Any defect in the pleadings, the form of the citation, the manner of service, or the return will
void a default judgment. If defendant is defectively served, but has notice of the suit, he or she should answer.
Raising service defects is generally not worthwhile because it merely extends the time for filing an answer.
Statutes and rules: CPRC §§17.021-17.093; TRCP 99-124.
Related topics: Statutes of Limitations, Ch 3; Subject Matter Jurisdiction. Ch 7; Personal Jurisdiction, Ch 8;
Defaults and Dismissals, Ch 37.
I. Overview
A. General Points
§10:01 Purpose
§10:02 Actual Notice Neither Required Nor Sufficient
§10:03 Service, Appearance or Waiver Required for Jurisdiction
§10:03.1 Compare: Citation and Notice
§10:04 Service and Personal Jurisdiction
§10:05 Importance of Strict Compliance: Default Judgments
§10:06 Special Rules for Actions in Justice Court
§10:06.1 Special Rules May Apply in Family Cases
§10:06.2 Special Rules Apply in Probate Cases
B. Methods of Service
§10:10 Actual Notice
§10:11 Substituted Service
§10:12 Overlapping Methods of Service
(Rev. 10, 4/13)
C. Documents Included
§10:18 Citation
§10:19 Petition
§10:20 Other Pleadings Requiring Service: Claims That Add a Party
§10:21 Pleadings Not Requiring Service: Counterclaims, Cross-Claims, Interventions, Motions
§10:22 Discovery Requests May Be Included
D. Time for Service
§10:28 Case Must Be Pending
§10:29 No Service on Sunday
§10:30 No Time Limit for Completing
§10:31 Delaying Service
§10:32 CAUTION: Statute of Limitations
§10:33 CAUTION: Loss of Dominant Jurisdiction
II. Whom to Serve
A. Individuals
§10:38 Individual Defendant
§10:39 Agent Designated in Contract
§10:40 Defendant’s Attorney
§10:41 Minors
§10:42 Mentally Incapacitated Persons
B. Corporations
§10:48 Service on President or Vice-President
§10:49 Service on Registered Agent
§10:50 IN PRACTICE: Obtaining Information on Registered Agents
§10:51 Foreign Corporations Not Required to Appoint Registered Agent
§10:52 Non-Profit Corporations and Cooperatives
§10:53 Dissolved Corporations
§10:54 Alter Egos
C. Insurance Companies
§10:58 Service on Resident Insurers
§10:59 Service on Nonresident Insurers
§10:60 Surplus Lines Insurance Companies
§10:61 Unauthorized Persons or Insurers
§10:62 Insolvent Insurance Companies
D. Estates and Trusts
§10:66 Estates
§10:67 When Deceased Has Appeared
§10:68 Trusts
E. Unincorporated Entities
§10:74 General Partnerships
§10:75 Limited Partnerships
§10:76 Limited Liability Companies
§10:77 Real Estate Investment Trusts
(Rev. 1, 12/00)
§10:78 Unincorporated Non-Profit Associations
§10:79 Residential Landlords
F. Governmental Entities
§10:84 Federal Governmental Entities
§10:85 State and Local Governments
§10:86 Administrative Appeals
§10:87 Other Governmental Entities
G. Defendants In Other Countries
§10:89 Texas Law
§10:90 The Hague Convention
III. Standard Service
A. Personal Delivery
§10:92 In General
§10:93 Defendant Cannot Refuse Personal Service
§10:94 Advantages of Personal Delivery
B. Certified or Registered Mail
§10:100 In General
§10:101 Mail Must Be Properly Addressed
§10:102 Service Complete if Mail Is Refused, But Not if It Is Unclaimed
§10:103 First Class Mail Is Insufficient
§10:104 Advantages of Certified Mail
IV. Substituted Service Per Rule 106(b)
A. Prerequisites
§10:110 Attempt Standard Service First
§10:111 Defendant’s Whereabouts Must Be Known
§10:112 Defendants Who May Be Served by Substituted Service
§10:113 Personal Service Still Proper Even After Substituted Service Ordered
B. Permissible Means
§10:118 On Person Over 16 at Defendant’s Address
§10:119 By Posting
§10:120 By First-Class Mail
§10:121 On Defendant’s Attorney
§10:122 Other Means
§10:123 Actual Notice Not Required
C. Procedure
§10:128 Motion
§10:129 Affidavit Required
§10:130 Content of Affidavit
§10:131 Statement of Defendant’s Location
§10:132 Statement of Service Efforts
§10:133 Order: Address for Service
§10:134 Order: Method of Substituted Service
§10:135 Order: Form of Return Required
(Rev. 10, 4/13)

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