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Minnesota Service of Process for Divorce
The Server

The sheriff, or any other person 18 and over and not a party to the action may make service of a summons or other process.

Serving Process

The summons identifies the court and the parties, is subscribed by the plaintiff or his or her attorney, gives an address where the defendant may be served in person and by mail, states the time limit for him or her to answer, and makes clear that if the defendant fails to answer, a default judgment will be rendered against him or her for the relief demanded in the complaint.

Personal service of the summons requires delivering a copy to the individual personally or by leaving a copy at the individual's usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion residing therein. If the individual has, pursuant to statute, consented to any other method of service or appointed an agent to receive service of summons, or if a statute designates a state official to receive service of summons, service may be made that way.

Service by mail may be effected by mailing a copy of the summons and the complaint (by first-class mail, postage prepaid) to the defendant, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment, and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to the plaintiff. If the sender does not receive acknowledgment of service under this rule within the time defendant is required by these rules to serve an answer, service shall be ineffectual.

Service by publication confers jurisdiction when the action is a divorce and the court has ordered service by published notice. The summons is served by three weeks' published notice when the complaint and an affidavit of the plaintiff or his or her attorney are filed with the court. The affidavit states that affiant believes the defendant is not a resident of the state or cannot be found, and either that the affiant has mailed a copy of the summons to the defendant at the defendant's place of residence or that the affiant does not know such residence. The service of the summons is complete 21 days after the first publication.

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