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Colorado Service of Process for Divorce
The Server

Colorado permits anyone over 18 to personally serve process, provided that he or she is not a party to the action. No license or certification is needed. The plaintiff may request that a sheriff serve process. Service of process can be served on parties both in and outside of the state.

Serving the Papers

In Colorado, the summons must contain specific information. Any summons must be directed at the person being sued. It must contain the names of the parties, the county where the action is brought, the time of the required court appearance, a copy of the complaint and notice that failing to appear may result in a default judgment against the defendant.

Personal process service means that the summons and complaint are delivered in person. If the defendant is over the age of 18, process can be served by personal delivery, delivery to his appointed agent, by leaving a copy with someone at his or her home or place of business and, if at his or her place of business, it can be a secretary, bookkeeper, manager or chief clerk. 


If the defendant refuses process, service is sufficient if the server knows or can identify the recipient, identifies the papers being served and offers them to the party who refuses them.

Colorado also allows for process serving by mail or publication. Service by either of these methods requires that the plaintiff file a motion to do so. The plaintiff states the relevant facts, shows any effort made to serve process by personal delivery and gives any known address of the defendant. This can be done ex parte, which means without the opposing party's attorneys being present. If the court finds sufficient evidence to do so, it may order process to be served through certified mail sent by the clerk of the court, or by publication in a newspaper in the county where the action is pending. If no newspaper is published in the county, the court shall designate one in some adjoining county. Service by publication is for four weeks, and service is complete on the day of the last publication.


Proof of service for mail is the certificate of the clerk showing the date of the mailing, and the date the clerk received the return receipt. For service by publication, the affidavit of publication, together with the certificate of the clerk as to the mailing of copy of the process where required, is considered the proof of service.

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