Rule 4. Process.
(a) Summons - Issuance. Upon the filing of the complaint the clerk shall forthwith issue a summons and deliver it to the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney, who shall cause the summons and a copy of the complaint to be served in accordance with this rule. Upon request of the plaintiff separate or additional summonses shall issue against any defendants.
(b) Summons - Form. The summons shall be signed by the clerk, be under the seal of the court, contain the name of the court and the names of the parties, be directed to the defendant, state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff's address, and the time within which these rules require the defendant to appear and defend, and shall notify the defendant that in case of defendant's failure to do so judgment by default will be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint.
(c) Methods of Service - Appointments to Serve Process - Definition of Peace Officer.
(1) Service of all process shall be made by a peace officer, by a person specially appointed by the Commissioner of Public Safety for that purpose or, where a rule so provides, by registered or certified mail.
(2) A subpoena may be served as provided in Rule 45 without special appointment.
(3) Special appointments for the service of all process relating to remedies for the seizure of persons or property pursuant to Rule 64 or for the service of process to enforce a judgment by writ of execution shall only be made by the Commissioner of Public Safety after a thorough investigation of each applicant, and such appointment may be made subject to such conditions as appear proper in the discretion of the Commissioner for the protection of the public. A person so appointed must secure the assistance of a peace officer for the completion of process in each case in which the person may encounter physical resistance or obstruction to the service of process.
(4) Special appointments for the service of all process other than the process as provided under paragraph (3) of this subdivision shall be made freely when substantial savings in travel fees and costs will result.
(5) The term "peace officer" as used in these rules shall include any officer of the state police, members of the police force of any incorporated city, village or borough, United States Marshals and their deputies, other officers whose duty is to enforce and preserve the public peace, and within the authority conferred upon them, persons specially appointed pursuant to paragraph (3) of this subdivision.
(d) Summons - Personal Service. The summons and complaint shall be served together. The plaintiff shall furnish the person making service with such copies as are necessary. Service shall be made as follows:
(1) Individuals. Upon an individual other than an infant or an incompetent person, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally, or by leaving copies thereof at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process.
(2) Infants. Upon an infant, by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to such infant personally, and also to the infant's father, mother or guardian, or if there be none within the state, then to any person having the care or control of such infant, or with whom the infant resides, or in whose service the infant is employed; or if any service cannot be made upon any of them, then as provided by order of the court.
(3) Incompetent Persons. Upon an incompetent person, by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint personally -
[a] To the guardian of the person or a competent adult member of the person's family with whom the person resides, or if the person is living in an institution, then to the director or chief executive officer of the institution, or if service cannot be made upon any of them, then as provided by order of the court; and
[b] Unless the court otherwise orders, also to the incompetent.
(4) Corporations. Upon a domestic or foreign corporation, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an officer, a managing or general agent, or to any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process.
(5) Partnerships. Upon a partnership, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint personally to a member of such partnership, or to a managing or general agent of the partnership, or to any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process, or to a person having control of the business of the partnership; or if service cannot be made upon any of them, then as provided by order of the court.
(6) Unincorporated Associations. Upon an unincorporated association, by delivering a copy of the summons and the complaint personally to an officer, a managing or general agent, or to any other person authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process; or if service cannot be made upon any of them, then as provided by order of the court.
(7) State of Alaska. Upon the state, by sending a copy of the summons and the complaint by registered or certified mail to the Attorney General of Alaska, Juneau, Alaska, and
[a] to the chief of the attorney general's office in Anchorage, Alaska, when the matter is filed in the Third Judicial District; or
to the chief of the attorney general's office in Fairbanks, Alaska, when the matter is filed in the Fourth Judicial District.
(8) Officer or Agency of State. Upon an officer or agency of the state, by serving the State of Alaska as provided in the preceding paragraph of this rule, and by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to such officer or agency. If the agency is a corporation, the copies shall be delivered as provided in paragraph (4) of this subdivision of this rule.
(9) Public Corporations. Upon a borough or incorporated city, town, school district, public utility district, or other public corporation in the state, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the chief executive officer or chief clerk or secretary thereof.
(10)00Unknown Parties. Upon unknown persons who may be made parties in accordance with statute and these rules, by publication as provided in subdivision (e) of this rule.
(11)00Officer or Agency of State as Agent for Non-governmental Defendant. Whenever, pursuant to statute, an officer or an agency of the State of Alaska has been appointed as agent to receive service for a non-governmental defendant, or whenever, pursuant to statute, an officer or agency of the State of Alaska, has been deemed, considered or construed to be appointed as agent for a non-governmental defendant by virtue of some act, conduct or transaction of such defendant, service of process shall be made in the manner provided by statute.
(12)00Personal Service Outside State. Upon a party outside the state in the same manner as if service were made within the state, except that service shall be made by a sheriff, constable, bailiff, peace officer or other officer having like authority in the jurisdiction where service is made, or by a person specifically appointed by the court to make service, or by service as provided in subsection (h) of this rule. In an action to enforce any lien upon or claim to, or to remove any encumbrance or lien or cloud upon the title to, real or personal property within the state, such service shall also be made upon the person or persons in possession or in charge of such property, if any. Proof of service shall be in accordance with (f) of this rule.
(e) Other Service. When it shall appear by affidavit of a person having knowledge of the facts filed with the clerk that after diligent inquiry a party cannot be served with process under (d) of this rule, service may be made by publication or as otherwise directed by the court as provided in this subdivision. Service by publication will be allowed in adoption cases only if ordered by the court for compelling reasons.
(1) Diligent Inquiry. Inquiry as to the absent party's whereabouts shall be made by the party who seeks to have service made, or by the party's attorney actually entrusted with the conduct of the action, or by the agent of the attorney. It shall be made of any person who the inquirer has reason to believe possesses knowledge or information as to the absent party's residence or address or the matter inquired of. The inquiry shall be undertaken in person or by letter, and the inquirer shall state that an action has been or is about to be commenced against the party inquired for, that the object of the inquiry is to give such party notice of the action in order that such party may appear and defend it. When the inquiry is made by letter, postage shall be enclosed sufficient for the return of an answer. The affidavit of inquiry shall be made by the inquirer. It shall fully specify the inquiry made and of what persons and in what manner so that by the facts stated therein it may appear that diligent inquiry has been made for the purpose of effecting actual notice.
(2) Service by Publication. A notice shall be published four times during four consecutive calendar weeks, once in each week, in a newspaper published in the district in which the action is pending, or if none be published therein, then in a newspaper published in this state circulating in such district. Prior to the last publication a copy of the notice and the complaint or the pleading shall be sent by registered or certified mail, with return receipt requested, with postage prepaid, to the absent party, addressed in care of such party's residence or the place where such party usually receives mail, unless it shall appear by affidavit that such residence or place is unknown or cannot be ascertained after inquiry.
(3) Other Service. In its discretion the court may allow service of process to be made upon an absent party in any other manner which is reasonably calculated to give the party actual notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard, if an order permitting such service is entered before service of process is made.
(4) Form and Contents of Notice - Time. The notice referred to in paragraph (2) of this subdivision shall be in the form of a summons. It shall state briefly the nature of the action, the relief demanded, and why the party to whom it is addressed is made a party to the action. Where the action concerns real property or where real property of a party has been attached, the notice shall set forth a legal description of the property, shall state the municipality or district in which it is located, and the street or road on which the property is situated, if the property is improved, it shall state the street number of the same. Where personal property of a party has been attached, the notice shall generally describe the property. If a mortgage is to be foreclosed, the notice shall state the names of all parties thereto and the dates that the mortgage was executed. The notice shall specify the time within which the absent party has to appear or answer or plead, which shall not be less than 20 days after personal service or, if service is made by publication, not less than 30 days after the last date of publication, and shall state the effect of a failure to appear or answer or plead. If the absent party does not appear or answer or plead within the time specified within the notice, the court may proceed as if such party had been served with process within the state.
(5) Proof of Service. If service is made by publication, proof of publication shall be made by the affidavit of the newspaper's publisher, printer, manager, foreman, or principal clerk, or by the certificate of the attorney for the party at whose instance the service was made, to which affidavit or certificate shall be attached a printed copy of the published notice with the name and the dates of the newspaper marked therein. Proof of mailing shall be made by affidavit of a deposit in a post office of the copies of the notice and the complaint or other pleadings.
(f) Return. The person serving the process shall give proof of service thereof to the party requesting issuance of the process or to the party's attorney promptly and in any event within the time during which the person served must respond to the process. Within 120 days after filing of the complaint, the party shall file and serve an affidavit identifying the parties who have been served, the date service was made and the parties who remain unserved. If service is made by a person other than a peace officer, the person shall make affidavit thereof, proof of service shall be in writing and shall set forth the manner, place, date of service, and all pleadings or other papers served with the process. Failure to make proof of service does not affect the validity of the service.
(g) Amendment. At any time in its discretion and upon such terms as it deems just, the court may allow any process or proof of service thereof to be amended, unless it clearly appears that material prejudice would result to the substantial rights of the parties against whom the process issued.
(h) Service of Process by Mail. In addition to other methods of service provided for by this rule, process may also be served within this state or the United States or any of its possessions by registered or certified mail, with return receipt requested, upon an individual other than an infant or an incompetent person and upon a corporation, partnership, and unincorporated association. In such case, copies of the summons and complaint or other process shall be mailed for restricted delivery only to the party to whom the summons or other process is directed or to the person authorized under federal regulation to receive the party's restricted delivery mail. All receipts shall be so addressed that they are returned to the party serving the summons or process or the party's attorney. Service of process by mail under this paragraph is complete when the return receipt is signed.
(i) Service on Custody Investigator and Guardian Ad Litem. In all cases involving the custody or visitation of a minor in which a custody investigator or a guardian ad litem has been appointed, the parties shall serve the custody investigator and the guardian ad litem with all pleadings involving the care, custody, or control of the minor.
(j) Summons - Time Limit for Service. The clerk shall review each pending case 120 days after filing of the complaint to determine whether all defendants have been served. If any defendant has not been served, the clerk shall send notice to the plaintiff to show good cause in writing why service on that defendant is not complete. If good cause is not shown within 30 days after distribution of the notice, the court shall dismiss without prejudice the action as to that defendant. The clerk may enter the dismissal if the plaintiff has not opposed dismissal. If the court finds good cause why service has not been made, the court shall establish a new deadline by which plaintiff must file proof of service or proof that plaintiff has made diligent efforts to serve
Note: In 1996, the legislature enacted AS 18.66.160, which relates to service of process in a proceeding to obtain a domestic violence protective order. According to § 77 ch. 64 SLA 1996, this statute has the effect of amending Civil Rule 4.
Note: AS 10.06.580(b), as enacted by ch. 166, § 1, SLA 1988, amended Civil Rule 4 by allowing a corporation in an action brought under AS 10.06.580 to serve non-resident dissenting shareholders by certified mail and publication without satisfying the conditions under which certified mail and publication can be used under Civil Rule 4. AS 10.06.638, as enacted by ch. 166, § 1, SLA 1988, amended Civil Rule 4 by changing (1) the requirements for service by publication, and (2) how long a corporation has to respond to a complaint in an involuntary dissolution proceeding before the Commissioner of Commerce and Economic Development may take a default judgment against the corporation.
Note: Section 132 of ch. 87 SLA 1997 adds AS 25.27.265(c) which authorizes the court to allow CSED to serve a party by mailing documents to the last known address on file with the agency. This is permitted only if the court finds that CSED has made diligent efforts to serve documents in the appropriate manner. According to § 153 of the Act, § 132 has the effect of amending Civil Rules 4 and 5 by allowing service at the opposing party's last known address on file with the child support enforcement agency in certain circumstances.
Rule 4(a). Summons; Issuance
When the complaint or any other pleading which requires service of a summons is filed, the clerk shall endorse thereon the day and hour on which it was filed and the number of the action, and shall forthwith issue a summons. The party filing the pleading may present a summons to the clerk for signature and seal. If in proper form, the clerk shall sign and seal the summons and issue it to the party for service or for delivery to a person authorized by Rule 4(d) to serve it. A summons, or a copy of the summons if addressed to multiple persons, shall be issued for each person to be served.
Rule 4(b). Summons; Form; Replacement Summons
The summons shall be signed by the clerk, be under the seal of the court, contain the name of the court and the names of the parties, be directed to the person to be served, state the name and address of the attorney, if any, for the party on whose behalf service is being made, and otherwise that party's address. The summons shall state the time within which these Rules require the person being served to appear and defend, and shall notify that person that in case of a failure to do so judgment by default will be rendered against that person for the relief demanded in the pleading served. A summons, or a copy of the summons in the case of multiple persons to be served, shall be served together with a copy of the pleading to be served. If a summons is returned without being served, or if it has been lost, the clerk may upon request issue a replacement summons in the same form as the original. A replacement summons shall be issued and served within the time prescribed by Rule 4(i) of these Rules for service of the original summons. The summons shall state that "requests for reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities must be made to the court by parties at least 3 working days in advance of a scheduled court proceeding."
Rule 4(c). Summons; Parties Named Fictitiously; Return
When a pleading which requires service of a summons designates a party whose true name is unknown by a fictitious name pursuant to Rule 10(f) of these Rules, the summons may issue directed to the fictitious name employed for that purpose. The return of service of process upon a person designated therein by a fictitious name shall state the true name of the person or party upon whom it was served.
Rule 4(d). Process; By Whom Served
Service of process shall be by a sheriff, a sheriff's deputy, a private process server registered with the clerk of the court pursuant to subpart (e) of this Rule, or any other person specially appointed by the court, except that a subpoena may be served as provided in Rule 45. Service of process may also be made by a party or that party's attorney where expressly authorized by these Rules. A private process server or specially appointed person shall be not less than twenty-one (21) years of age and shall not be a party, an attorney, or the employee of an attorney in the action whose process is being served. Special appointments to serve process shall be requested by motion to the presiding Superior Court judge and the court's ruling shall be recorded by minute entry. Special appointments shall be granted freely, are valid only for the cause specified in the motion, and do not constitute an appointment as a registered private process server.
Rule 4(e). State-wide Registration of Private Process Servers
A person who files with the clerk of the court an application approved by the Supreme Court, stating that the applicant has been a bona fide resident of the State of Arizona for at least one year immediately preceding the application and that the applicant will well and faithfully serve process in accordance with the law, and who otherwise complies with the procedures set forth by the Supreme Court in its Administrative Order regarding this subsection, shall, upon approval of the court or presiding judge thereof, in the County where the application is filed, be registered with the clerk as a private process server until such approval is withdrawn by the court in its discretion. The clerk shall maintain a register for this purpose. Such private process server shall be entitled to serve in such capacity for any court of the state anywhere within the State.
Rule 4(f). Service; Acceptance or Waiver; Voluntary Appearance
The person to whom a summons or other process is directed may accept service, or waive issuance or service thereof, in writing, signed by that person or by that person's authorized agent or attorney, and the acceptance or waiver shall be filed in the action. A person upon whom service is required may, in person or by attorney or by an authorized agent, enter an appearance in open court, and the appearance shall be noted by the clerk upon the docket and entered in the minutes. Such waiver, acceptance or appearance shall have the same force and effect as if a summons had been issued and served. The filing of a pleading responsive to a pleading allowed under Rule 7(a) of these Rules shall constitute an appearance.
Rule 4(g). Return of Service
If service is not accepted or waived, then the person effecting service shall make proof thereof to the court. When the process is served by a sheriff or a sheriff's deputy, the return shall be officially endorsed on or attached thereto and returned to the court promptly. If served by a person other than the sheriff or a deputy sheriff, return and proof of service shall be made promptly by affidavit thereof. Each such affidavit of a registered private process server shall include clear reference to the county where that private process server is registered. When the summons is served by publication, the return of the person making such service shall be made in the manner specified in Rules 4.1(n) and 4.2(e) of these Rules. Proof of service in a place not within any judicial district of the United States shall, if effected under paragraph (1) of Rule 4.2(h), be made pursuant to the applicable treaty or convention; and shall, if effected under paragraph (2) or (3) thereof, include a receipt signed by the addressee or other evidence of delivery to the addressee satisfactory to the court. In any event the return shall be made within the time during which the person served must respond to process. Failure to make proof of service does not affect the validity thereof.
Rule 4(h). Amendment of Process or Amendment of Proof of Service
At any time in its discretion and upon such terms as it deems just, the court may allow any process or proof of service thereof to be amended, unless it clearly appears that material prejudice would result to the substantial rights of the party against whom the process issued.
Rule 4(i). Summons; Time Limit for Service
If service of the summons and complaint is not made upon a defendant within 120 days after the filing of the complaint, the court, upon motion or on its own initiative after notice to the plaintiff, shall dismiss the action without prejudice as to that defendant or direct that service be effected within a specified time; provided that if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court shall extend the time for service for an appropriate period. This subdivision does not apply to service in a foreign country pursuant to Rule 4.2(h), (i), (j) and (k) of these rules.