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Rule 113. Serving a Summons and Complaint

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedJustice Court Rules of Civil Procedure

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure (Refs & Annos)
Part IV: Starting a Lawsuit: The Complaint, the Summons, and Service of the Lawsuit
17B A.R.S. Justice Court Civ.Proc.Rules, Rule 113
Rule 113. Serving a Summons and Complaint
a. Personal service on individuals in the State of Arizona. A CASE OR CLAIM AGAINST A DEFENDANT CANNOT PROCEED WITHOUT PROPER SERVICE. Except as stated in other sections of this rule, each defendant who is found in the State of Arizona must be personally served with the summons and complaint by a constable or by a certified private process server who is certified under Arizona law. “Personally served” means that the constable or private process server must deliver a copy of the summons and pleading to the individual defendant personally, or leave copies at the individual's residence with a person of suitable age and discretion who lives there, or deliver copies to an authorized agent of the defendant. Promptly after service upon a defendant, the constable or certified private process server must prepare an affidavit as proof that the defendant was served, and the proof of service must be filed with the court. An affidavit of attempted service should be filed with the court only as an exhibit to a motion. [ARCP 4(d), (g), 4.1(b), (d)]
b. Service on a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or association within the State of Arizona. Service of a summons and complaint within the State of Arizona upon a corporation, a partnership, a limited liability company, or an association must be made by personally serving an officer, a partner, or a managing or general agent, or by serving any other agent authorized by law to receive service on behalf of the organization. The constable or certified private process server must prepare an affidavit as proof that a corporation, a partnership, a limited liability company, or an association was served, and the proof of service must be filed with the court. [ARCP 4.1(k), 4(d), (g)]
c. Special situations for service of the summons and complaint on a defendant in the State of Arizona. Service of the summons and complaint within the State of Arizona on one of the following defendants, or using one of the following methods, must be made as provided in the following sections of Rule 4.1 of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure. The rules listed in sub-sections (1) through (7) below are included in the appendix to these Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure:
(1) Upon a minor (a child under the age of 18): see Rule 4.1(e);
(2) upon a minor with a guardian or conservator: see Rule 4.1(f);
(3) upon an incompetent individual: see Rule 4.1(g);
(4) upon the State of Arizona, a county, a municipal corporation, or any other governmental entity: see Rule 4.1(h);
(5) upon a domestic corporation if an authorized officer or agent is not found within the State of Arizona: see Rule 4.1(j);
(6) by alternative or substituted service: see Rule 4.1(k);
(7) by service by publication: see Rule 4.1(l).
Proof of service upon any of the above defendants or using one of the above methods must be promptly prepared by the constable or certified private process server who completed service, and the proof of service must be filed with the court, except that proof of service by publication must be filed as provided by Rule 4.1(n). [ARCP 4.1(e)-(h), (j)-(l), 4(d), (g)]
d. Service on an individual outside the State of Arizona.
(1) Personal service. An out-of-state individual may be personally served with a summons and complaint by someone who is authorized to serve process under the laws of the state where service is made on the individual. The meaning of “personally served” is set forth in Rule 113(a). The person who completed service must promptly prepare an affidavit as proof that a defendant was served, and the proof of service must be filed with the court.
(2) “Alternative” service by certified mail. Alternatively, and if the defendant lives outside the State of Arizona but inside the United States, service may be made by certified mail, with a return receipt showing restricted delivery to the defendant. The return receipt with defendant's signature must be filed with the court with the plaintiff's affidavit of service. The affidavit must state that the defendant being served is located out-of-state; that the summons and a copy of a specified pleading were mailed to the defendant; that the documents were in fact received by the defendant, as shown by the return receipt that is attached to the affidavit; and the date of receipt of the documents by the defendant who was served. Service by certified mail is complete on the date that defendant signed the receipt, as shown on the return receipt, and if there is no date of defendant's signature on the return receipt, or if the date is not legible, then service is complete on the date the affidavit of service and the return receipt are filed with the court. [ARCP 4.2(b), (c)]
e. Special situations for service of the summons and complaint on a defendant outside the State of Arizona. Service of the summons and complaint outside the State of Arizona on one of the following defendants, or using one of the following methods, must be made as provided in the following sections of Rule 4.2 of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure. The rules listed in sub-sections (1) through (7) below are included in the appendix to these Rules.
(1) Under the Nonresident Motorist Act: see Rule 4.2(e);
(2) service by publication: see Rule 4.2(f);
(3) upon a corporation, partnership, or unincorporated association located outside Arizona but within the United States: see Rule 4.2(h);
(4) upon individuals in a foreign country: see Rule 4.2(i);
(5) upon a minor or incompetent individual in a foreign country: see Rule 4.2(j);
(6) upon a corporation or association in a foreign country: see Rule 4.2(k);
(7) upon a foreign state or political subdivision of a foreign state: see Rule 4.2(l).
Proof of service upon any of the above defendants or using one of the above methods must be prepared by the person who completed service, and the proof of service must be filed with the court, except that proof of service under the Nonresident Motorist Act must be made as provided by Rule 4.2(e), and proof of service by publication must be filed as provided by Rule 4.2(f). [ARCP 4.2(e)-(f), (h)-(l), 4(g)]
f. Amendment of summons or proof of service. A summons or a proof of service may be amended if reasonable and as the judge may allow, and if the amendment does not cause substantial harm to the defendant who was served. [ARCP 4(h)]
g. Acceptance of service. Service may be made without the expense of a process server if the defendant agrees in writing to accept service. A defendant may sign an acceptance of service of a summons and complaint if a notary public witnesses the signature. The signed acceptance of service must then be returned to the plaintiff and filed with the court. The date of service is the date that the signed acceptance of service is filed with the court. [ARCP 4(f)]
h. Jurisdiction. A justice court may exercise personal jurisdiction over the parties who have been properly served to the full extent permitted by the constitutions and laws of the State of Arizona and of the United States. [ARCP 4.2(a)]
(i) Dismissal because of lack of service; service on some but not all defendants. After at least twenty (20) days notice to plaintiff, the court may dismiss a complaint as to any defendant who has not been served with the summons and complaint within ninety (90) days after the filing date of the complaint. Before the dismissal date, if the plaintiff shows good reasons why a defendant has not been served, the court may extend the time for service. When some but not all of the defendants in a lawsuit have been timely served, the court may dismiss from the lawsuit the defendants who have not been served, and allow the plaintiff to proceed against the defendants who have been served. [ARCP 4(i), 5(b)]

Credits

Adopted Aug. 30, 2012, effective Jan. 1, 2013. Amended on an emergency basis Feb. 13, 2013, effective Feb. 13, 2013, amendment adopted on a permanent basis Aug. 28, 2013. Amended Aug. 28, 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2019.
17B A. R. S. Justice Court Civ. Proc. Rules, Rule 113, AZ ST J CT RCP Rule 113
State Court Rules are current with amendments received through 11/1/21. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through 11/1/21.
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