Must Service of Process be Performed by an Attorney?

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“I have a tenant that is refusing to pay her rent and is currently five months behind going on six. I had a friend serve her a “Three day pay or quit”.

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

In speaking with her, she said that it was not a legal service because it was not served by an attorney. Is she right that it was not a legal service, or is the service legal?”

I am unaware of any state which requires that service of process be served by an attorney. Most states only require that the person serving the notice be a) over 18, and b) not a party to the action themselves. That said, it’s not impossible that it’s different in the state where you live. You can easily find out by either calling a local law library, or your local sheriff’s department (sheriff’s often perform service of process).



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Author: Anne P. Mitchell, Esq.

Anne P. Mitchell, Esq. is a noted family law expert, Internet law expert, and Professor of Law at Lincoln Law School of San Jose. She is the author of "Surviving Divorce: the Single Father's Guide" and "The Email Deliverability Handbook"

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