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Filing an Affidavit of Service

Whenever any legal papers are served, the person serving the papers must fill out a written form that says how the papers were served. This form is filed with the Court after the service is done. This form is called an Affidavit of Service. A licensed process server will have his or her own forms. To find Affidavits of Service go to Forms, visit a Court Help Center or ask the Court for one, most Courts will have this. Use the Court locator box to find the Court.

 

Affidavit of Service

The Affidavit of Service tells everyone about the service of the papers. It says:

  • What papers were delivered
  • Who delivered the papers
  • Where the papers were delivered
  • Date and time when the papers were delivered
  • How the papers were delivered
  • If given to someone, a description of the person
  • If papers were mailed, when and how

The Affidavit must be signed by the server in front of a notary public. After the Affidavit of Service is done, it must be filed with the Court.

 

Filing the Affidavit of Service

Proof that legal papers were delivered must always be given to the Court. If the case has started already, the original Affidavit of Service is filed when the original legal papers are given to the Court. The rules are different for filing an Affidavit of Service when starting a case.

When a landlord-tenant case is started, the Affidavit of Service must be filed three days or less after personal delivery or mailing to the respondent.

In other cases, if the papers are served by personal delivery, there is no set time limit to file the Affidavit of Service. Defendant’s time to Answer starts to run when he or she is handed the papers. If the papers are served by substituted service or conspicuous place service, service is not finished until the Affidavit of Service is filed with the Court. If service is not finished (completed), the defendant’s time to Answer the Summons and Complaint does not start to run. In the Supreme, County and City Courts, the Affidavit of Service must be filed by 20 days or less from the date the papers were left or mailed whichever is later. Service is finished 10 days after the filing and the defendant’s time to Answer starts to run. In the District, Civil, Town and Village Courts, defendant’s time to Answer starts to run from whenever the Affidavit of Service is filed.

There are many time periods that don’t start to run until an Affidavit of Service is filed with the Court. For example, the time to appeal does not start to run until the Affidavit of Service for the Notice of Entry is filed with the Court. Check with the Court or visit a Court Help Center if you have a question about filing an Affidavit of Service.

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