Service of Process is a way to tell the other side in writing what the case is about and giving them notice of this and notifies them of what they must do, if there is a court hearing, when and where to go to court. There are exceptions to this, if there is something that is an emergency you can file an Emergency Motion with related paperwork, usually the idea is the dependent or the other side has an opportunity to come to court to make their arguments.  After the Complaint has been filed, you need to serve the other side within ninety (90) days and if it is a Complaint for Contempt for the other side for not doing what they are supposed to be doing you need to serve them seven (7) days before the hearing date.  The question some people have asked is “how do I notify the Defendant?”  It cannot just be an email, text or phone call you need to get an official Summons from the court and you need to serve a copy of that Summons and the paperwork of the Complaint that you received with the Tracking Notice to the Defendant. Usually, that would be hiring a Sheriff or Constable and again, there can be something where you can ask the court to approve an Indigency Form.

If a Sheriff or Constable serves the Defendant, they then give the Defendant a copy of the Summons, Complaint, Tracking Notice and the Sheriff or Constable on the 2nd page of the Summons signs a Return of Service that you would provide the court showing that the other side was served properly.  Generally your attorney would do this or if you are doing that on your own you would check to see if the Sheriff or Constable will give you the court paperwork to serve with the court or if they are going to file on their own.