What is Personal Service?

What is Personal Service?


Is made when the documents for service are delivered directly to the defendant or witness. It is usually presumed that the process server delivers the documents in hand to the person and that service is made face-to-face. A personal service may also mean that the documents must be left in the person's presence. It is not necessary to hand the documents directly to the defendant or witness and can be left in a conspicuous place after the process server makes contact with the defendant or witness and is within normal speaking distance, identifies him/herself as a process server and explains the general nature of the documents. One of the commonly misunderstood parts of this process is that many believe that the documents must be placed in the hands of the defendant or witness. If that were the requirements, it would be virtually impossible to serve someone if they wanted to refuse service. (CCP 415.10)


Is made only on the person holding a managing or controlling position with the company. The person holding the following office titles are authorized to accept personal service on behalf of a corporation (CCP 416.10, CCP 416.30, CCP 416.40):
  1. President or Chief Executive Officer
  2. Vice President
  3. Corporate Secretary or Assistant Secretary
  4. Treasurer, assistant treasurer, or Chief Financial Officer
  5. General Manager (NOT an office manager or store manager)
  6. Agent for Service
  7. Anyone designated by the corporation to receive service of process
If a corporate officer or agent for service cannot be found or served, the corporation may be served through the California Secretary of State pursuant to a court order under Corp. Code 1701 - 1702.

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