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Texas Service of Process for Divorce
The Server

Texas has several rules pertaining to becoming a civil process server. In Texas, a person must be 18 or older and must not be a party to, or have any interest in, the case. He or she must be physically and mentally fit in order to perfect service. For example, the process server must be able to fill out and verify the Affidavit of Service.

Most states do not require process servers to be licensed, but Texas is one of eight states that do. To become licensed, a person must complete a Texas-sponsored training program, submit to a criminal background check, provide a driver's license and fingerprints and fill out an application. A review committee then grants or rejects the application for a license. Once licensed by the state, Texas civil process servers may apply to become appointed to a permanent process server list in each county. They can also petition the court to be named to serve process in individual cases. 

The civil process server must document the date and time when he or she received the matter to be served. Moreover, once the papers have been physically served, the process server must fill out an Affidavit of Service and have it notarized.

Texas process servers cannot ask for or collect fees up front from their clients. Once service has been perfected or attempted, an invoice can then be sent.

Serving the Papers

Unless the court otherwise directs, service of process is effected by delivering to the defendant, in person, a dated copy of the summons and the petition, or by mailing to the defendant by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a dated copy of the summons and the petition.

The clerk of the court makes service by registered or certified mail and citation by publication, but no one involved in the suit may serve any process in that suit.

Return of Service

The server must complete a return of service that includes the case number and case name, the court of jurisdiction, a description of papers, the date and time the process was received for service, the recipient and his or her address, the date of service or attempted service, the manner of delivery of service or attempted service, the name of the 3server and his or her identification number and the expiration date of his or her identification, and any other information required by rule or law.

If process was served by registered or certified mail, the return must also contain the return receipt with the addressee’s signature. If process has not been served, the return must show the measures taken and the cause of failure to execute it, and location of the recipient if known.

The server must sign the return.

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