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Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure

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Arizona has statewide registration of process servers in compliance with procedures set forth by the Arizona Supreme Court. Applicants must pass a written examination. A private process server or specially appointed person shall be not less than twenty-one (21) years of age and shall not be a party, an attorney, or the employee of an attorney in the action whose process is being served.

Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure Please note that lobbyists are active in the state of Arizona and laws concerning civil procedure and process serving can change. Therefore the information listed below may have been amended. For updated process serving legislation, please visit the Arizona State Legislature.

Rule 4.1 Process: Service of Process Within Arizona.

Rule 4.2 Extraterritorial Jurisdiction; Personal Service Out of State

Rule 5. Service and Filing of Pleadings and Other Papers.

Rule 45. Subpoena.

Arizona State Bar Committee Notes

New Rule 4.2(h), dealing with the service of process in a foreign country, is adapted from a preliminary draft of proposed amendments to provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on the same subject. The principal purpose of these amendments is to call attention to the Hague [Service Convention], which entered into force for the United States on February 10, 1969. The procedure for foreign services specified in the convention must be employed where they are available and where service requires the transmittal of documents for service abroad. See Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellaschaft v. Schlunk, 486 U.S. 694, 108 S.Ct. 2104, 100 L.Ed.2d 722 (1988).

Rule 4(d). Process; By Whom Served

Service of process shall be by a sheriff, a sheriff’s deputy, a private process server registered with the clerk of the court pursuant to subpart (e) of this Rule, or any other person specially appointed by the court, except that a subpoena may be served as provided in Rule 45. Service of process may also be made by a party or that party’s attorney where expressly authorized by these Rules. A private process server or specially appointed person shall be not less than twenty-one (21) years of age and shall not be a party, an attorney, or the employee of an attorney in the action whose process is being served. Special appointments to serve process shall be requested by motion to the presiding Superior Court judge and the court’s ruling shall be recorded by minute entry. Special appointments shall be granted freely, are valid only for the cause specified in the motion, and do not constitute an appointment as a registered private process server.

Rule 4(e). Statewide Registration of Private Process Servers

A person who files with the clerk of the court an application approved by the Supreme Court, stating that the applicant has been a bona fide resident of the State of Arizona for at least one year immediately preceding the application and that the applicant will well and faithfully serve process in accordance with the law, and who otherwise complies with the procedures set forth by the Supreme Court in its Administrative Order regarding this subsection, shall, upon approval of the court or presiding judge thereof, in the County where the application is filed, be registered with the clerk as a private process server until such approval is withdrawn by the court in its discretion. The clerk shall maintain a register for this purpose. Such private process server shall be entitled to serve in such capacity for any court of the state anywhere within the State.

Rule 4(f). Service; Acceptance or Waiver; Voluntary Appearance

The person to whom a summons or other process is directed may accept service, or waive issuance or service thereof, in writing, signed by that person or by that person’s authorized agent or attorney, and the acceptance or waiver shall be filed in the action. A person upon whom service is required may, in person or by attorney or by an authorized agent, enter an appearance in open court, and the appearance shall be noted by the clerk upon the docket and entered in the minutes. Such waiver, acceptance or appearance shall have the same force and effect as if a summons had been issued and served. The filing of a pleading responsive to a pleading allowed under Rule 7(a) of these Rules shall constitute an appearance.

Rule 4(g). Return of Service

If service is not accepted or waived, then the person effecting service shall make proof thereof to the court. When the process is served by a sheriff or a sheriff’s deputy, the return shall be officially endorsed on or attached thereto and returned to the court promptly. If served by a person other than the sheriff or a deputy sheriff, return and proof of service shall be made promptly by affidavit thereof. Each such affidavit of a registered private process server shall include clear reference to the county where that private process server is registered. When the summons is served by publication, the return of the person making such service shall be made in the manner specified in Rules 4.1(n) and 4.2(e) of these Rules. Proof of service in a place not within any judicial district of the United States shall, if effected under paragraph (1) of Rule 4.2(h), be made pursuant to the applicable treaty or convention; and shall, if effected under paragraph (2) or (3) thereof, include a receipt signed by the addressee or other evidence of delivery to the addressee satisfactory to the court. In any event the return shall be made within the time during which the person served must respond to process. Failure to make proof of service does not affect the validity thereof.

Important Note: Rule 80(i) of the RCP (eff. 12/1/96) permits a person, when subscribing to a proof of service, to provide an unsworn declaration under penalty of perjury in lieu of the sworn affidavit stated in rule 4(g) above. It recommends the following form:
"I declare (or certify, verify or state) under penalty of perjurythat the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed on (date)      (Signature)
"

Rule 4(h). Amendment of Process or Amendment of Proof of Service

At any time in its discretion and upon such terms as it deems just, the court may allow any process or proof of service thereof to be amended, unless it clearly appears that material prejudice would result to the substantial rights of the party against whom the process issued.

Rule 4(i). Summons; Time Limit for Service

If service of the summons and complaint is not made upon a defendant within 120 days after the filing of the complaint, the court, upon motion or on its own initiative after notice to the plaintiff, shall dismiss the action without prejudice as to that defendant or direct that service be effected within a specified time; provided that if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court shall extend the time for service for an appropriate period. This subdivision does not apply to service in a foreign country pursuant to Rule 4.2(h), (i), (j)and (k) of these rules.


Rule 4.1 Process: Service of Process Within Arizona.

(a) Territorial Limits of Effective Service.

All process may be served anywhere within the territorial limits of the state.

(b) Summons; Service With Complaint.

The summons and pleading being served shall be served together. The party procuring service is responsible for service of a summons and the pleading being served within the time allowed under Rule 4(i) of these Rules and shall furnish the person effecting service with the necessary copies of the pleading to be served.

(c) Waiver of Service; Duty to Save Costs of Service; Request to Waive.

(d) Service of Summons Upon Individuals.

Service upon an individual from whom a waiver has not been obtained and filed, other than those specified in paragraphs (e), (f) and (g) of this Rule 4.1, shall be effected by delivering a copy of the summons and of the pleading to that individual personally or by leaving copies thereof at that individual’s dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein or by delivering a copy of the summons and of the pleading to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process.

(e) Service of Summons Upon Minors.

Service upon a minor under the age of sixteen years shall be effected by service in the manner set forth in paragraph (d) of this Rule 4.1 upon the minor and upon the minor’s father, mother or guardian, within this state, or if none is found therein, then upon any person having the care and control of such minor, or with whom the minor resides.

(f) Service of Summons Upon A Minor With Guardian or Conservator.

Service upon a minor for whom a guardian or conservator has been appointed in this state shall be effected by service in the manner set forth in paragraph (d) of this Rule 4.1 upon such guardian or conservator and minor.

(g) Service of Summons Upon Incompetent Persons.

Service upon a person who has been judicially declared to be insane, gravely disabled, incapacitated or mentally incompetent to manage that person’s property and for whom a guardian or conservator has been appointed in this state shall be effected by service in the manner set forth in paragraph (d) of this Rule 4.1 upon such person and also upon that person’s guardian or conservator, or if no guardian or conservator has been appointed, upon such person as the court designates.

(h) Service of Summons Upon the State.

If a waiver has not been obtained and filed, service upon the state shall be effected by delivering a copy of the summons and of the pleading to the attorney general.

(i) Service of Summons Upon a County, Municipal Corporation or Other Governmental Subdivision.

Service upon a county or a municipal corporation or other governmental subdivision of the state subject to suit, and from which a waiver has not been obtained and filed, shall be effected by delivering a copy of the summons and of the pleading to the chief executive officer, the secretary, clerk, or recording officer thereof.

(j) Service of Summons Upon Other Governmental Entities.

Service upon any governmental entity not listed above shall be effected by serving the person, officer, group or body responsible for the administration of that entity or by serving the appropriate legal officer, if any, representing the entity. Service upon any person who is a member of the “group” or “body” responsible for the administration of the entity shall be sufficient.

(k) Service of Summons Upon Corporations, Partnerships or Other Unincorporated Associations.

Service upon a domestic or foreign corporation or upon a partnership or other unincorporated association which is subject to suit in a common name, and from which a waiver has not been obtained and filed, shall be effected by delivering a copy of the summons and of the pleading to a partner, an officer, a managing or general agent, or to any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process and, if the agent is one authorized by statute to receive service and the statute so requires, by also mailing a copy to the party on whose behalf the agent accepted or received service.

(l) Service of Summons Upon a Domestic Corporation If Authorized Officer or Agent Not Found Within the State.

When a domestic corporation does not have an officer or agent in this state upon whom legal service of process can be made, service upon such domestic corporation shall be effected by depositing two copies of the summons and of the pleading being served in the office of the Corporation Commission, which shall be deemed personal service on such corporation. The return of the sheriff of the county in which the action or proceeding is brought that after diligent search or inquiry the sheriff has been unable to find any officer or agent of such corporation upon whom process may be served, shall be prima facie evidence that the corporation does not have such an officer or agent in this state. The Corporation Commission shall file one of the copies in its office and immediately mail the other copy, postage prepaid, to the office of the corporation, or to the president, secretary or any director or officer of such corporation as appears or is ascertained by the Corporation Commission from the articles of incorporation or other papers on file in its office, or otherwise.

(m) Alternative or Substituted Service.

If service by one of the means set forth in the preceding paragraphs of this Rule 4.1 proves impracticable, then service may be accomplished in such manner, other than by publication, as the court, upon motion and without notice, may direct. Whenever the court allows an alternate or substitute form of service pursuant to this subpart, reasonable efforts shall be undertaken by the party making service to assure that actual notice of the commencement of the action is provided to the person to be served and, in any event, the summons and the pleading to be served, as well as any order of the court authorizing an alternative method of service, shall be mailed to the last known business or residence address of the person to be served. Service by publication may be employed only under the circumstances, and in accordance with the procedures, specified in Rules 4.1(n), 4.1(o), 4.2(f) and 4.2(g) of these Rules.

(n) Service by Publication; Return.

Where the person to be served is one whose residence is unknown to the party seeking service but whose last known residence address was within the state, or has avoided service of process, and service by publication is the best means practicable under the circumstances for providing notice of the institution of the action, then service may be made by publication in accordance with the requirements of this subpart. Such service shall be made by publication of the summons, and of a statement as to the manner in which a copy of the pleading being served may be obtained, at least once a week for four successive weeks (1) in a newspaper published in the county where the action is pending, and (2) in a newspaper published in the county of the last known residence of the person to be served if different from the county where the action is pending. If no newspaper is published in any such county, then the required publications shall be made in a newspaper published in an adjoining county. The service shall be complete thirty days after the first publication. When the residence of the person to be served is known, the party or officer making service shall also, on or before the date of the first publication, mail the summons and a copy of the pleading being served, postage prepaid, to that person at that person’s place of residence. Service by publication and the return thereof may be made by the party procuring service or that party’s attorney in the same manner as though made by an officer. The party or officer making service shall file an affidavit showing the manner and dates of the publication and mailing, and the circumstances warranting the utilization of the procedure authorized by this subpart, which shall be prima facie evidence of compliance herewith. A printed copy of the publication shall accompany the affidavit. If the residence of the party being served is unknown, and for that reason no mailing was made, the affidavit shall so state.

(o) Service by Publication; Unknown Heirs in Real Property Actions.

When in an action for the foreclosure of a mortgage on real property or in any action involving title to real property, it is necessary for a complete determination of the action that the unknown heirs of a deceased person be made parties, they may be sued as the unknown heirs of the decedent, and service of a summons may be made on them by publication in the county where the action is pending, as provided in subpart (n) of this Rule 4.1.


Rule 4.2 Extraterritorial Jurisdiction; Personal Service Out of State

A court of this state may exercise personal jurisdiction over parties,

whether found within or outside the state, to the maximum extent permitted by the Constitution of this state and the Constitution of the United States. Service upon any such party located outside the state may be made as provided in this Rule 4.2, and when so made shall be of the same effect as personal service within the state.

Direct Service Service of process may be made outside the state

but within the United States in the same manner provided in Rule 4.1(d)-(l) of these Rules by a person authorized to serve process under the law of the state where such service is made. Such service shall be complete when made and time for purposes of Rule 4.2(m) shall begin to run at that time, provided that before any default may be had on such service, there shall be filed an affidavit of service showing the circumstances warranting the utilization of this procedure and attaching an affidavit of the process server showing the fact and circumstances of the service.

Service by Mail; Return When the whereabouts of a party outside the state is known,

Service may be made by depositing the summons and a copy of the pleading being served in the post office, postage prepaid, to be sent to the person to be served by any form of mail requiring a signed and returned receipt. Service by mail pursuant to this subpart and the return thereof may be made by the party procuring service or by that party’s attorney. Upon return through the post office of the signed receipt, the serving party shall file an affidavit with the court stating

Waiver of Service; Duty to Save Costs of Service; Request to Waive

Service Under Nonresident Motorist Act

In an action involving operation of a motor vehicle in this state, a nonresident minor, insane or incompetent person may be served in the manner provided by A.R.S. §§ 28-2321 through 28-2327 for service upon a nonresident in such cases as if that person were sui juris. When service of a copy of the summons and complaint is made pursuant to A.R.S. § 28-2327, the service shall be deemed complete thirty days after filing defendant’s return receipt and plaintiff’s affidavit of compliance, as required by A.R.S. § 28- 2327, subsection A, paragraph 1, or, in case of personal service out of the state under A.R.S. § 28-2327, subsection A, paragraph 2, thirty days after filing the officer’s return of such personal service. The defendant shall appear and answer within thirty days after completion of such service in the same manner and under the same penalties as if the defendant had been personally served with a summons within the county in which the action is pending.

Service by Publication

Return Where the person to be served is one whose present residence is unknown but whose last known residence was outside the state, or has avoided service of process, and service by publication is the best means practicable under the circumstances for providing notice of institution of the action, then service may be made by publication in accordance with the requirements of this subpart. Such service shall be made by publication of the summons, and of a statement as to the manner in which a copy of the pleading being served may be obtained, at least once a week for four successive weeks in a newspaper published in the county where the action is pending. If no newspaper is published in any such county, then the required publications shall be made in a newspaper published in an adjoining county. The service shall be complete thirty days after the first publication. When the residence of the person to be served is known, the party or officer making service shall also, on or before the date of the first publication, mail the summons and a copy of the pleading being served, postage prepaid, directed to that person at that person’s place of residence. Service by publication and the return thereof may be made by the party procuring service or that party’s attorney in the same manner as though made by an officer. The party or officer making service shall file an affidavit showing the manner and dates of publication and mailing, and the circumstances warranting utilization of the procedure authorized by this subpart which shall be prima facie evidence of compliance herewith. A printed copy of the publication shall accompany the affidavit. If the residence of the person to be served is unknown, and for that reason no mailing was made, the affidavit shall so state.

Service by Publication; Unknown Heirs in Real Property Actions

When in an action for the foreclosure of a mortgage on real property or in any action involving title to real property, it is necessary for a complete determination of the action that the unknown heirs of a deceased person be made parties, they may be sued as the unknown heirs of the decedent, and service of a summons may be made on them by publication in the county where the action is pending, as provided in subpart (e) of this Rule.

Service of Summons Upon Corporations

Partnerships Unincorporated Associations Located Outside Arizona but Within the United States In case of a corporation or partnership or unincorporated association located outside the state but within the United States, service under this Rule shall be made on one of the persons specified in Rule 4.1(k).

Service Upon Individuals in a Foreign Country

Unless otherwise provided by federal law, service upon an individual from whom a waiver has not been obtained and filed, other than an infant or an incompetent person, may be effected in a place not within any judicial district of the United States:

Service of Summons Upon Minors and Incompetent Persons in a Foreign Country

Service upon a minor, a minor with a guardian or an incompetent person in a place not within any judicial district of the United States shall be effected in the manner prescribed by paragraph (2)(A) or (2)(B) of subdivision (i) of this Rule 4.2 or by such means as the court may direct.

Service of Summons Upon Corporation and Associations in a Foreign Country

Unless otherwise provided by federal law, service upon a corporation or upon a partnership or other unincorporated association that is subject to suit under a common name, and from which a waiver of service has not been obtained and filed, shall be effected in a place not within any judicial district of the United States in any manner prescribed for individuals by subdivision (i) of this Rule 4.2 except personal delivery as provided in paragraph (2)(C)(i) thereof.

Service of Summons Upon a Foreign State or Political Subdivision

Thereof Service of a summons upon a foreign state or a political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof shall be effected pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1608.

Time for Appearance After Service Outside State

Where service of the summons and of a copy of a pleading requiring service by summons is made outside the state by any means authorized by this Rule 4.2, other than subsection (d), the person served shall appear and answer within thirty days after completion thereof in the same manner and under the same penalties as if that person had been personally served with a summons within the county in which the action is pending.


Rule 5. Service and Filing of Pleadings and Other Papers.

Service; when required.

Except as otherwise provided in these rules, every order required by its term to be served, every pleading subsequent to the original complaint unless the court otherwise orders because numerous defendants, every paper relating to discovery required to be served upon a party unless the court otherwise orders, every written motion other than one which may be heard ex parte, and every written notice, appearance, demand, offer of judgment, designation of record on appeal, and similar paper shall be served upon each of the parties. No service need be made on parties in default for failure to appear except that pleadings asserting new or additional claims for relief against them shall be served upon them in the manner provided for service of summons in Rule 4, or Rule 4.2 as applicable.

Service; parties served; continuance.

When there are several defendants, and some are served with summons and others are not, the plaintiff may proceed against those served or continue the action. The court may order the plaintiff to proceed against those served.

Service after appearance; service after judgment; how made.c

Service; numerous defendants.

In any action in which there are unusually large numbers of defendant the court, upon motion or of its own initiative, may order that service of the pleadings of the defendants an replies thereto need not be made as between the defendants and that any cross-claim, counterclaim, or matter constituting an avoidance or affirmative defense contained therein shall be deemed denied or avoided by all other parties and that the filing of any such pleading and service thereof upon the plaintiff constitutes due notice of to the parties. A copy of every such order shall be served upon the parties in such manner and form as the court directs.

ABROGATED APRIL 16, 1991, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1991.

ABROGATED APRIL 16, 1991, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1991.

Filing; attachments.

Filing with the court defined.

The filing of pleadings and other papers with the court as required by these. Rules shall be made by filing them with the clerk of the court, except that the judge may permit the papers to be filed with the judge and in that event the judge shall note thereon the filing date and forthwith transmit them to the office of the clerk.

Compulsory arbitration.

A complaint and an answer shall be accompanied by such certificate as may be required by Rule 1(e), Uniform Rules of Procedure for Arbitration and such other certificates as may be required by local rule.

Proposed orders and proposed judgments.

A proposed order or proposed judgment shall be prepared as a separate document and shall not be included as an integral part of a motion, stipulation, or other document. The proposed order or proposed judgment shall be prepared in accordance with this subsection and Rule 10(d), and shall contain the following information as single-spaced text on the first page of the document:

  1. To the left of the center of the page starting at line one, the filing party’s typed or printed name, address, telephone number, State Bar of Arizona attorney identification number, and any State Bar of Arizona law firm identification number, along with an identification of the party being represented by the attorney, e.g., plaintiff, defendant, third party plaintiff, etc. (Note: If the document is being presented by a litigant representing himself or herself, all of this information shall be included except the State Bar of Arizona identification numbers);
  2. Centered on or below line six (6) of the page, the typed or printed title of the court;
  3. Below the title of the court and to the left of the center of the paper, the typed or printed title of the action proceeding;
  4. Opposite the title, in the space to the right of the center of the page, the typed or printed case number of the action or proceeding; and
  5. Immediately below the case number, a brief typed or printed description of the nature of the document. There shall be at least two lines of text on the signature page. Any proposed form of order or proposed form of judgment shall be served upon all parties and counsel simultaneous with its submission to the Court for consideration. Proposed orders and proposed judgments shall not be filed or docketed by the Clerk of the Court until after judicial review and decision to sign, modify, or reject. A party may file an unsigned order or judgment to preserve the record on appeal.

(Amended Mar. 26, 1963, effective June 1, 1963; amended July 17, 1970, effective Nov. 1, 1970; amended July 23, 1976, effective Oct. 1, 1976; amended Oct. 28, 1980, effective Jan. 1, 1981; amended July 6, 1983, effective Sept. 7, 1983; amended Sept. 15, 1987, effective Nov. 15, 1987; amended Dec. 21, 1990, effective Feb. 1, 1991; amended Apr. 16, 1991, effective July 1, 1991; amended Oct. 2, 1991, effective Dec. 1, 1991; amended July 16, 1992, effective Dec. 1, 1992; amended Mar. 2, 1993, effective June 1, 1993; amended Jan. 26, 1994; effective June 1, 1994; amended Oct. 9, 1996, effective Dec. 1, 1996; amended Jan. 29, 1999, Effective June 1, 1999.)


Rule 45. Subpoena.

Form; issuance.

Service.

Protection of persons subject to subpoenas.

Duties in responding to subpoena.

Contempt.

Failure of any person without adequate excuse to obey a subpoena served upon that person may be deemed a contempt of the superior court of the county from which the subpoena is issued. An adequate cause for failure to obey exists when a subpoena purports to require a non-party to attend or produce at a place not within the limits provided by clause (ii) of subparagraph (c)(3).

Failure to produce documentary evidence.

Upon failure to produce documentary evidence as provided in this Rule, secondary evidence of the books, papers, documents or tangible things may be given at trial.

Subpoena.

The subpoena shall state that “requests for reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities must be made to the court by parties at least 3 working days in advance of a scheduled court proceeding.”

(Amended July 17, 1970, effective Nov. 1, 1970; amended July 6, 1983, effective Sept. 7, 1983; amended Sept. 15, 1987, effective Nov. 15, 1987; amended June 1, 1995, effective Dec. 1, 1995; amended Oct. 9, 1996, effective Dec. 1, 1996.)

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