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Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure

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Kentucky Process Server Requirements

Service may be made upon an individual out of this state, other than an unmarried infant, a person of unsound mind or a prisoner, either by certified mail in the manner prescribed in Rule 4.01 (1) (a) or by personal delivery of a copy of the summons and of the complaint (or other initiating document) by a person over 18 years of age. However, civil summonses may be served by sheriffs, constables or court-appointed special bailiffs.

Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure

Please note that lobbyists are active in the state of Kentucky 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 Kentucky Courts website.

Rule 4. Process.

Rule 4. Process.

Rule 4.01. Summons – Issuance – By whom served.

Rule 4.02. Summons – Form.

The summons shall be issued in the name of the Commonwealth, be dated and signed by the clerk, contain the name of the court and the style and number of the action, and be directed to each defendant, notifying him that a legal action has been filed against him and that unless a written defense is made by him or by an attorney in his behalf within 20 days following the day on which the summons is served on him a judgment may issue against him for the relief demanded.

Rule 4.03. Summons – Return.

The person serving the summons shall make proof thereof to the court promptly, and in any event within the time during which the person served must respond.

Rule 4.04. Personal service – Summons and initiating document.

Case Note: A company is not required by law to admit into its plant or shop a constable, deputy sheriff or any official qualified under the law to serve civil process for the purpose of serving civil process on an employee, and furthermore, if such official stays after a request to leave, he or she could be trespassing, nor does it make a difference if the summons is in connection with a civil or divorce action. Opinion of the Attorney General 79-123.

Rule 4.05. Parties who may be constructively served.

If a party sought to be summoned is: (a) an individual who is a nonresident of this state and known or believed to be absent therefrom, or (b) a corporation or a partnership or unincorporated association which is subject to suit under a common name, having no agent in this state known to the plaintiff upon whom a summons may be lawfully served, or (c) an individual who has been absent from the state for four months or who has departed therefrom with the intent to delay or defraud his creditors, or (d) an individual who has left the county of his residence to avoid the service of a summons or has so concealed himself that a summons cannot be served upon him, or (e) an individual whose name or place of residence is unknown to the plaintiff; the clerk shall forthwith, subject to the provisions of Rule 4.06, make an order upon the complaint warning the party to appear and defend the action within 50 days.

Rule 45.01. For attendance of witnesses – Form – Issuance.

Every subpoena shall be issued by the clerk or other authorized officer, shall state the name of the court and the title of the action, and shall command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony at the time and place and for the party therein specified. The clerk or other authorized officer shall issue a subpoena, or a subpoena for the production of documentary or other tangible evidence, signed but otherwise in blank, to a party requesting it, who shall fill it in before service. Subpoenas shall not be used for any purpose except to command the attendance of the witness and production of documentary or other tangible evidence at a deposition, hearing or trial. Upon order of the Court, with the agreement of the parties, documents may be produced without a deposition. (Amended October 1, 1991, effective November 15, 1991.)

Rule 45.02. For production of documentary evidence.

A subpoena may also command the person to whom it is directed to produce the books, papers, documents or tangible things designated therein; but the court, upon motion made promptly and in any event at or before the time specified in the subpoena for compliance therewith, may (a) quash or modify the subpoena if it is unreasonable and oppressive or (b) condition denial of the motion upon the advancement by the person in whose behalf the subpoena is issued of the reasonable cost of producing the books, papers, documents, or tangible things. (Amended October 18, 1977, effective January 1, 1978.)

Rule 45.03. Service [of subpoena].

(1) A subpoena may be served in any manner that a summons might be served. It may also be served by any person over eighteen years of age, and the affidavit endorsed thereon by such person shall be proof of service or the witnesses may acknowledge service in writing on the subpoena. Service of the subpoena shall be made by delivering or offering to deliver a copy thereof to the person to whom it is directed. A subpoena may be served at any place within this state. Proof of service shall be made by filing with the issuing court a statement showing the date and manner of service and the names of the persons served. The statement must be certified by the server.

(2) Copies of all documents received in response to the subpoena shall be forthwith furnished to all other parties to the action, except on motion and for good cause shown. Any other tangible evidence received in response to the subpoena shall be forthwith made available for inspection by all other parties to the action.

(3) Before any subpoena is served, notice of that subpoena, except those issued for trial, shall be served on each party and any person or entity whose information is being requested.

You should contact a Kentucky Process Server if you have specific questions about Process Serving in Kentucky.