IMPORTANT LINKS

North Carolina and South Carolina

It is important for clients to understand the Rules of Civil Procedure governing service of process in their jurisdiction. We are providing NC and SC Rules of Civil Procedure for your convenience. Please know that we are not attorneys and are not permitted to provide legal advice or interpret the law. The information below is provided as a courtesy only and we are not responsible for the content of any links, which you may visit from this site. If you are a client representing yourself and you have questions, we encourage you to seek out the advice of an attorney. We are happy to refer you to an attorney licensed in NC or SC to provide any legal advice or legal services you may need.

NORTH CAROLINA RULES

The North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure set the requirements for proper service of documents in legal proceedings. If a document is not served properly in accordance with the rules, improper service can lead to delays and possible dismissal of your lawsuit. You can read about the rules for serving most legal documents below:


Rule 4. Process.

Rule 5. Service and filing of pleadings and other papers.

Rule 45. Subpoena.

Chapter 1F. North Carolina Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act. (Domesticating Subpoenas)

SOUTH CAROLINA RULES

The South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure set the requirements for proper service of documents in legal proceedings. If a document is not served properly in accordance with the rules, improper service can lead to delays and possible dismissal of your lawsuit. You can read about the rules for serving most legal documents below:


Rule 4. Process.

Rule 5. Service and filing of pleadings and other papers.

Rule 45. Subpoena

S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 15-47-100 to - 160; and S.C. R. CIV. Proc. 28(d) (Domesticating Subpoenas)

HELPFUL INFO

WHAT IS SERVICE OF PROCESS?

Service of process is the procedure used to give notice to a person that a lawsuit has been filed against them in Court. The Summons and Complaint require a written response from the person being served within a certain time frame. Each jurisdiction has rules regarding the means of service of process. Typically, a summons and related documents must be served upon the defendant personally, or in some cases upon another person of suitable age and discretion at the person's residence or place of business or employment. Proper service of process initially establishes personal jurisdiction of the court over the person served. If the defendant ignores further pleadings or fails to participate in the proceedings, then the court or administrative body may find the defendant in default and award relief to the claimant petitioner or plaintiff.

Domesticating a Subpoena in North Carolina:

See N.C.G.S. § 1F-1 to 1F-7 (the “North Carolina Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act”). See also N.C.G.S. § 1A-1, North Carolina Rule of Civil Procedure 28(d). 

North Carolina adopts a slightly modified UIDDA. Submit a foreign subpoena to a clerk of court in the county in which you seek to conduct discovery, and the clerk issues a subpoena for service. See N.C.G.S. § 1F-3 (a) and (b). Filing a miscellaneous action, discovery document, or petition to take discovery is not required. Include with the letter or memorandum to the clerk: (1) the foreign subpoena plus any attachments/exhibits; (2) a check payable to the clerk for the civil filing fee; and (3) a SASE for document return. The subpoena must incorporate the foreign subpoena terms and include the contact information of all counsel of record and of any unrepresented party. See N.C.G.S. § 1F-3 (c). Requesting the subpoena issuance does not constitute appearing. See N.C.G.S. § 1F-3(a). Local counsel or pro hac vice admission is not needed until any actions to enforce or resolve objections to the subpoena.

WHAT IS SERVICE OF SUBSEQUENT DOCUMENTS?

Service of process is distinguished from service of subsequent documents between the parties to litigation. Service of subsequent documents are documents served after the Summons and Complaint has been served. Show cause orders (contempt), motions, notices of hearings, subpoenas and other legal documents are common "subsequent documents" which require service of process.

WHAT DO PROCESS SERVERS DO?

Our process servers are used in numerous ways such as serving legal documents (subpoenas, show cause orders, etc.), filing court papers, and retrieving court copies from the clerk of courts at the courthouse. We "serve" or deliver legal documents to a defendant/respondent or other person/entity involved in a court case. After we serve the legal documents, we complete an "affidavit of service" or "proof of service." This affidavit of service is a document we draft (or you can draft) which proves to the Court that the legal documents were received by the person we served. The affidavit of service is notarized and given to the individual or company who requested that the papers be served. Process servers are required by law to serve papers according to the rules set forth by their state (rules differ from state to state).

WHY USE A PROCESS SERVER?

Courts require that documents be served in accordance with their state's laws or rules which are set forth in the state "rules of civil procedure." In addition to the fact that the law requires proper service, it can be beneficial to serve notices of hearings, motion, discovery requests, etc. by process server so that you have proof that the other party received them. Sometimes when people are expecting a lawsuit, they will avoid service by not signing for mailed documents or perhaps hiding from a Sheriff's deputy. Additionally, you can work with process servers to determine the best time and place to serve the opposing party. Morning, noon, or night, our process servers are available and can serve documents at work, at home, or at the grocery store if necessary. Our process servers are also available to testify in court as to the documents and person served, if necessary (for an additional fee).

WHAT IS DOMESTICATING A SUBPOENA?

North Carolina and South Carolina courts allow out-of-state subpoenas to be issued and served against North Carolina or South Carolina citizens (including individuals, corporations, governments, other entities, etc.), provided certain steps are followed.


Subpoenas from other states may be used to compel the attendance and testimony of North Carolina or South Carolina citizens, or for the production of documents or the inspection of premises.

Domesticating subpoenas can be a tricky process. With two separate jurisdictions involved, legislative acts to consider, and two different Rules of Civil Procedure, it’s very important to work with a process server who understands the ins and outs of subpoena domestication. We have extensive experience domesticating subpoenas for cases in North Carolina or South Carolina.

We work with local law firms to provide out-of-state attorneys, paralegals, and self-represented clients with step-by-step guidance regarding issuing and serving out-of-state subpoenas in our services areas.

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