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Service Of Summons In California

Service Of Summons In California

When All Else Fails, Try the California Secretary of State
By []Barbara Haubrich

Corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships are required by statute to designate an agent for service of process. However, if you are having trouble serving a business entity's registered agent, try turning to the California Secretary of State for substitute service of process.

To obtain information relating to a business entity registered with the California Secretary of State, you can submit a Business Entities Records Order Form for a copy of the business' records, including a Certificate of Surrender. Contained in the Certificate of Surrender is the current Registered Agent for service of process, and other information that will be helpful in service of process. You can then serve the entity in any manner as provided in CCP 416.10 - 416.40.

Substitute service of process through the California Secretary of State's office can be made if attempts at direct service of process have been unsuccessful; attempts at direct service have been proven to the court to be reasonably diligent; and the court issues an order that service can be made upon the entity by hand delivering to the Secretary of State's office in Sacramento, as substitute service of process upon the entity, the following:

1. Two copies of the process (generally the Summons and Complaint) to be served;
2. Two copies of the court order permitting the service; and
3. The statutory $50.00 fee. (**fee subject to change)

Substitute service of process in this manner is not permitted by mail. The order, process to be served, and $50.00 fee must be hand delivered to the Secretary of State's public counter during regular business hours at 1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor, Room 390, Sacramento, California.

Barbara Haubrich, ACP/CAS is the creator and author of The California Litigator, an E-zine for California legal professionals who are interested in enhancing their knowledge and strategies in the area of civil litigation support. Barbara is an Administrative Legal Assistant with the law firm of Chain | Cohn | Stiles in Bakersfield, California, and the owner of Deadline Direct, a unique deadline calculating gadget that syncs with Outlook.