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Alaska Service of Process for Divorce
The Server

Any adult over 18 years old and not a party to the case, or a member of a corporation or organization that is a party, may service process in a divorce. Alaska is one of eight jurisdictions where process servers must be licensed. According to the Alaska Administrative Code, Title 13, 067.5 thru 067.100, the Commissioner of Public Safety licenses process servers.

Each process server posts a $15,000 surety bond, which applies primarily to theft from levies and executions. Applicants must also pass a written examination.

Serving Process

In personal service, the server delivers the summons and complaint to the individual personally, or by leaving the papers at the individual's dwelling with some person of suitable age and discretion living there, or by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive them.

Process may also be served by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. Copies of the process must be mailed for restricted delivery to the recipient or a designated agent. Receipts are returned to the party serving process or the party's attorney. Service is complete when the return receipt is signed. The server gives proof of service to the plaintiff or his or her attorney promptly and within the time limit to respond to process.

When a defendant cannot be served personally, service may be made by publication. The plaintiff must make a good faith search, including an Internet search and inquiries with people who may know the missing spouse’s whereabouts. With the approval of the court, a notice is published four times during four consecutive weeks, once in each week, in a newspaper published in the district where the action is pending, or if none are published there, then in a newspaper published in Alaska circulating in the district. Prior to the last publication, the plaintiff must send the missing spouse the divorce papers by registered or certified mail, with return receipt requested, with postage prepaid, and by regular first class mail. The notice is addressed to where the party usually receives mail, unless this is unknown or cannot be ascertained.

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