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How to Serve Process in Indiana

Rule 4 - Process
(A) Jurisdiction Over Parties or Persons-In General. The court acquires jurisdiction over a party or person who under these rules commences or joins in the action, is served with summons or enters an appearance, or who is subjected to the power of the court under any other law.
(B) Preparation of summons and praecipe. Contemporaneously with the filing of the complaint or equivalent pleading, the person seeking service or his attorney shall furnish to the clerk as many copies of the complaint and summons as are necessary. The clerk shall examine, date, sign, and affix his seal to the summons and thereupon issue and deliver the papers to the appropriate person for service. Affidavits, requests, and any other information relating to the summons and its service as required or permitted by these rules shall be included in a praecipe attached to or entered upon the summons. Such praecipe shall be deemed to be a part of the summons for purposes of these rules. Separate or additional summons shall, as provided by these rules, be issued by the clerk at any time upon proper request of the person seeking service or his attorney.
(C) Form of summons. The summons shall contain:
(1) The name and address of the person on whom the service is to be effected;
(2) The name, street address, and telephone number of the court and the cause number assigned to the case;
(3) The title of the case as shown by the complaint, but, if there are multiple parties, the title may be shortened to include only the first named plaintiff and defendant with an appropriate indication that there are additional parties;
(4) The name, address, and telephone number of the attorney for the person seeking service;
(5) The time within which these rules require the person being served to respond, and a clear statement that in case of his failure to do so, judgment by default may be rendered against him for the relief demanded in the complaint.
The summons may also contain any additional information which will facilitate proper service.

(D) Designation of Manner of Service. The person seeking service or his attorney may designate the manner of service upon the summons. If not so designated, the clerk shall cause service to be made by mail or other public means provided the mailing address of the person to be served is indicated in the summons or can be determined. If a mailing address is not furnished or cannot be determined or if service by mail or other public means is returned without acceptance, the complaint and summons shall promptly be delivered to the sheriff or his deputy who, unless otherwise directed, shall serve the summons.
(E) Summons and Complaint Served Together-Exceptions. The summons and complaint shall be served together unless otherwise ordered by the court. When service of summons is made by publication, the complaint shall not be published. When jurisdiction over a party is dependent upon service of process by publication or by his appearance, summons and complaint shall be deemed to have been served at the end of the day of last required publication in the case of service by publication, and at the time of appearance in jurisdiction acquired by appearance. Whenever the summons and complaint are not served or published together, the summons shall contain the full, unabbreviated title of the case.
Ind. R. Civ. P. 4

Updated on: 11/05/2023

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