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Texas Rules of Civil Procedure

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Texas Rules of Civil Procedure

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

Rule 6. Suits Commenced on Sunday

No civil suit shall be commenced nor process issued or served on Sunday, except in cases of injunction, attachment, garnishment, sequestration, or distress proceedings, provided that citation by publication published on Sunday shall be valid. (Amended Oct. 3, 1972, eff. Feb. 1, 1973.)

Rule 15. Writs and Process

The style of all writs and process shall be “The State of Texas;” and unless otherwise specially provided by law or these rules every such writ and process shall be directed to any sheriff or any constable within the State of Texas, shall be made returnable on the Monday next after expiration of twenty days from the date of service thereof, and shall be dated and attested by the clerk with the seal of the court impressed thereon; and the date of issuance shall be noted thereon.

Rule 16. Shall Endorse All Process

Every officer or authorized person shall endorse on all process and precepts coming to his hand the day and hour on which he received them, the manner in which he executed them, and the time and place the process was served and shall sign the returns officially. (Amended July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.)

Rule 17. Officer to Execute Process

Except where otherwise expressly provided by law or these rules, the officer receiving any process to be executed shall not be entitled in any case to demand his fee for executing the same in advance of such execution, but his fee shall be taxed and collected as other costs in the case.July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.)

Rule 103. Who May Serve

Process—including citation and other notices, writs, orders, and other papers issued by the court—may be served anywhere by (1) any sheriff or constable or other person authorized by law, (2) any person authorized by law or by written order of the court who is not less than eighteen years of age, or (3) any person certified under order of the Supreme Court. Service by registered or certified mail and citation by publication must, if requested, be made by the clerk of the court in which the case is pending. But no person who is a party to or interested in the outcome of a suit may serve any process in that suite, and, unless otherwise authorized by a written court order, only a sheriff or constable may serve a citation in an action of forcible entry and detainer, a writ that requires the actual taking of possession of a person, property or thing, or process requiring that an enforcement action be physically enforced by the person delivery the process. The order authorizing a person to serve process may be made without written motion and no fee may be imposed for issuance of such order. (Amended June 10, 1980, eff. Jan. 1, 1981; July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; October 7, 2004, eff. July 1, 2005)

Rule 105. Duty of Officer or Person Receiving

The officer or authorized person to whom process is delivered shall endorse thereon the day and hour on which he received it, and shall execute and return the same without delay. (Amended July 11, 1977, eff. Jan. 1, 1978; July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.)

Rule 106. Method of Service

Rule 107. Return of Service

(a) The officer or authorized person executing the citation must complete a return of service. The return may, but need not, be endorsed on or attached to the citation.
(b) The return, together with any documents to which it is attached, must include the following information:
(1) the cause number and case name;
(2) the court in which the case is filed;
(3) a description of what was served;
(4) the date and time the process was received for service;
(5) the person or entity served;
(6) the address served;
(7) the date of service or attempted service;
(8) the manner of delivery of service or attempted service;
(9) the name of the person who served or attempted to serve the process;
(10) if the person named in (9) is a process server certified under order of the Supreme Court, his or her identification number and the expiration date of his or her certification; and
(11) any other information required by rule or law.
(c) When the citation was served by registered or certified mail as authorized by Rule 106, the return by the officer or authorized person must also contain the return receipt with the addressee’s signature.
(d) When the officer or authorized person has not served the citation, the return shall show the diligence used by the officer or authorized person to execute the same and the cause of failure to execute it, and where the defendant is to be found, if ascertainable.
(e) The officer or authorized person who serves or attempts to serve a citation must sign the return. If the return is signed by a person other than a sheriff, constable, or the clerk of the court, the return must either be verified or be signed under penalty of perjury. A return signed under penalty of perjury must contain the statement below in substantially the following form:


“My name is ___(First) (Middle) (Last)___, my date of birth is _______________, and my address is ___(Street)____, ___(City)___, ____(State)____, ___(Zip Code)___, and ___(Country)___. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed in ___________County, State of __________, on the _____ day of __(Month)__, __(Year)__. ______________(Declarant)_______________.”

(f) Where citation is executed by an alternative method as authorized by Rule 106, proof of service shall be made in the manner ordered by the court.
(g) The return and any document to which it is attached must be filed with the court and may be filed electronically or by facsimile, if those methods of filing are available.
(h) No default judgment shall be granted in any cause until proof of service as provided by this rule or by Rules 108 or 108a, or as ordered by the court in the event citation is executed by an alternative method under Rule 106, shall have been on file with the clerk of the court ten days, exclusive of the day of filing and the day of judgment.

(Amended July 11, 1977, eff. Jan. 1, 1978; June 10, 1980, eff. Jan. 1, 1981; July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990; October 7, 2004, eff. July 1, 2005)

Rule 108a. Service of Process in Foreign Countries

Rule 176. Subpoenas

176.1 Form.

Every subpoena must be issued in the name of “The State of Texas” and must:

176.2 Required Actions.

A subpoena must command the person to whom it is directed to do either or both of the following:

Rule 176.3 Limitations.

Rule 176.4 Who May Issue.

A subpoena may be issued by:

Rule 176.5 Service.

Rule 176.6 Response.

Rule 176.7 Protection of Person from Undue Burden and Expense.

A party causing a subpoena to issue must take reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue burden or expense on the person served. In ruling on objections or motions for protection, the court must provide a person served with a subpoena an adequate time for compliance, protection from disclosure of privileged material or information, and protection from undue burden or expense. The court may impose reasonable conditions on compliance with a subpoena, including compensating the witness for undue hardship.

Rule 176.8 Enforcement of Subpoena.

Texas Statutes Art. 2.11 BUS. CORP. ACT. Service of Process on Corporation

A. The president and all vice presidents of the corporation and the registered agent of the corporation shall be agents of such corporation upon whom any process, notice, or demand required or permitted by law to be served upon the de in the same manner as service is made on unknown shareholders under law. Notwithstanding any disability or reinstatement of a corporation, service of process under this section is sufficient for a judgment against the corporation or a judgment in rem against any property to which the corporation holds title. Acts 1955, 54th Leg., p. 239, ch. 64, eff. Sept. 6, 1955. Sec. D added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1481, § 40, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

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