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Maine Service of Process for Divorce
The Server

Process servers in Maine are not licensed. Anyone over 18 who is not a party to the case may serve papers in the state of Maine.

Serving Process

The divorce papers are the summons and the complaint, and they are delivered together. Process is not served on Sundays.

The summons identifies the court and the names of the parties and is directed to the defendant. It states the name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney, and the time limit requiring the defendant to appear and defend. It notifies the defendant that judgment by default will be rendered against him or her for the relief demanded in the complaint in the event of a failure to respond.

Personal service of process is effected by delivering a copy of the divorce papers to the defendant personally or by leaving copies at his or her residence or usual place of abode with a responsible person living there or by delivering them to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive them, provided that designated agent receive further notice as required by statute.

Service may be done by mailing a copy of the divorce papers by first-class mail, postage prepaid to the defendant, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment form and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to the sender.

Process may also be served by a sheriff, a deputy within the sheriff’s county, or another person authorized by law, or by some person specially appointed by the court for that purpose. Special appointments to serve process shall be made freely when substantial savings in travel fees will result.

The court, upon a showing that service as prescribed above cannot be made with due diligence, may order service to be made by leaving a copy of the divorce papers at the defendant's residence or usual place of abode, or that service is to be made by publication. Service by publication requires an order that states the object of the action. The order directs publication of a summons once a week for 3 successive weeks in a designated newspaper of general circulation in the county where the action is pending, and directs the mailing to the defendant, if the defendant's address is known, of a copy of the order as published.

The first publication of the summons is made within 20 days after the order is granted. Service by publication is complete on the twenty-first day after the first publication. The plaintiff must file an affidavit that publication has been made.

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