How to Serve Legal Documents Outside California

How to Serve Legal Documents Outside California

Do you need to have legal documents served on an out-of-state defendant? Direct Legal Support can help you. We provide out-of-state service of process to California residents and businesses. Contact us for more information on how to serve a person or business entity out-of-state. Read on to learn more.

Serving Legal Documents on an Out-of-State Defendant

Depending on where the out-of-state defendant resides, a process server may have to obtain permission from the local governing body before serving the out-of-state defendant. For example, certain courts require process servers to request special permission from the county clerk in order for service of process to be rendered in the local jurisdiction. Each state has different rules of civil procedure which governs out-of-state service of process. Contact us for more information.

How to Serve Legal Documents on an Out-of-State Business

If you are looking to sue an out-of-state business (example - limited liability company or corporation), you may be required to do one of the following:

  1. Serve the Company's Agent for Service In-State

Out-of-state corporations are required to register their agent for service of process with the California Secretary of State. The registered agent must maintain a physical address in California and be present during normal business hours in order to receive legal service of process. You can find a registered agent by visiting the California Secretary of State website. Simply enter the entity name or number to find out the registered agent’s information. The results section will list the agent for service of process and the agent’s address.

  1. Serve the California Secretary of State

If the out-of-state corporation has not listed an agent for service of process with the Secretary of State, the court can order that the agency be served for the out-of-state corporation. You will have to serve the court’s order and the Plaintiff’s Claim on the Secretary of State (personal service of process). The Secretary of State will serve the out-of-state corporation by certified return-receipt mail.

In limited situations, you may have to journey to the corporation’s home state to render service. As mentioned above, you will likely have to obtain an order from a local court to legally serve the corporation. Contact us for more information on how to serve an out-of-state corporation.

Use Skip Trace to Find a Defendant

If you need help locating a defendant to render service of process, consider using our skip trace service. We will need to obtain the defendant’s name, last known address, and an additional form of identification such as a date of birth, social security number, or driver’s license number, in order to successfully complete the trace. Skip tracing is typically used when a defendant evades service of process. You should hire a professional legal service provider who is skilled at conducting skip traces.

Direct Legal Support invites you to contact us for more information on how to serve legal documents outside California.

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