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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

RETURN OF SERVICE

Author: United States District Court (Clerk of the Court)

FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE - Return of Service

A Process Server who has executed service of process upon an individual, business, government agency or registered agent according to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is required by law to file a response to the court indicating that the Defendant, Plaintiff, Respondent, or Petitioner has been served. This process is known as a Return of Service. When an executed summons or waiver of service is docketed, CM/ECF will automatically enter the date an answer is due, based upon the date service was made and using the default settings of 21 or 60 days. If a different amount of time in which to answer is permitted by statute, rule, or court order for the case, the date set by CM/ECF may not be accurate. Additionally, if the date of service is not entered correctly, the date set by CM/ECF will not be accurate. The date an answer is due under a statute, rule, or order supercedes any date listed on the docket; therefore, reliance upon the date set by the system does not excuse a late filing.

The following variations to the standard filing procedure will occur when you are filing an executed return of service:

  • A return of service should be filed by counsel, not submitted directly to the Court by a private process server. The only occasion when a return is filed directly with the Clerk’s Office is if the U.S. Marshal was directed to make service.
  • A return of service is almost always in paper format and will need to be scanned. It is the responsibility of the filing party to maintain the original paper version at least until the conclusion of any appeal or expiration of the time for filing an appeal. The original paper version must be made available for inspection at the request of this Court or any other party.                                                                                                                                                                             
  • Summons Returned Executed
    • If you are filing a return for a party who was served with a 21 day summons, choose the event, Summons Returned Executed.
    • If you are filing a return for a party who was served with a 60 day summons, choose the event, Summons Returned Executed as to USA.

After selecting the filing party, select the party who was served.

You will then be prompted to enter the date of service.

You should not enter the date the answer is due.

 

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