What is the Return of Service form? Proof of Service. Affidavit of Service.

This week I answer a question from a student of mine who got my process server training course The Investigator’s Ultimate Guide to Process Serving, which is, “How can I find a copy of the Proof of Service form in my county?”

Return of Service is also known in some areas as “Proof of Service” or “Affidavit of Service”.

What is Proof of Service?

Proof of Service is the piece of paper (or sometimes two sheets) that tells the court you served the person you were appointed/hired to serve – usually in a civil litigation case like a divorce or lawsuit.

What does Proof of Service look like?

Here’s an example of proof of service…

Example of a Proof of Service form.

Proof of Service (AKA: Return of Service) form example.

This is a sworn statement that you actually served the person at the time, place and in the manner you are attesting to. Do not lie on this or any sworn statement!

How to file Return of Service

When you get the pack of papers to serve, hang onto the page or two that is the Return of Service (AKA Proof of Service). You don’t deliver that Proof of Service page to the subject.

After you serve the rest of the pack, fill out the Return of Service and take it down to the courthouse. You will usually bring it to the Clerk of Courts office for the court that issued the summons, subpoena, order, restraining order or other paperwork in the pack.

Simply give the Proof of service to the clerk working at the counter. The clerk will punch it with a date/time stamp to prove when you filed it.

Pro Tip: You can get a copy of the filed Return of Service right then and there. Law firms love to have a copy in their file!

NEWS: The Investigator’s Ultimate Guide to Process Serving is now a streaming course online! That means you can get instant access to it day or night at ShadowAnyone.com/ps

Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye,
Private Investigator (Ret.) &
#1 Best Selling Author

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