In the state of Texas,
no process server license is required.
However, all process servers must be authorized by the county court in
which he or she is serving. More recently,
a statewide registration occurred, in which new process server must attend a
course on process serving. Any pleading
may be served anywhere by (1) any sheriff or constable or other person
authorized by law or, (2) by any person authorized by law or by written order
of the court who is not less than eighteen years of age. No individual ho is a party to or interested
in the outcome of a suit shall serve any process. Service by registered, certified mail, and citation by
publication if requested, can be made by the clerk of the court in which the
case is pending. The order authorizing a person to serve process may be made
without mitten motion and no fee shall be imposed for issuance of such order.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Suits Commenced on Sunday
Shall Endorse All Process
Officer to Execute Process
Who May Serve
Duty of Officer or Person
Method of Service
Return of Service
Service of Process in Foreign
Subpoenas 176.1 Form
Who May Issue
Protection of Person From
Undue Burden or Expense
Enforcement of Subpoena
No civil suit shall be commenced nor process issued or served on
Sunday, except in cases of injunction, attachment, garnishment, sequestration,
or distress proceedings, provided that citation by publication published on
Sunday shall be valid. (Amended Oct. 3, 1972, eff. Feb. 1, 1973.)
WRITS AND PROCESS The
style of all writs and process shall be "The State of Texas;" and
unless otherwise specially provided by law or these rules every such writ and
process shall be directed to any sheriff or any constable within the State of
Texas, shall be made returnable on the Monday next after expiration of twenty
days from the date of service thereof, and shall be dated and attested by the
clerk with the seal of the court impressed thereon; and the date of issuance
shall be noted thereon.
Every officer or authorized person shall endorse on all process
and precepts coming to his hand the day and hour on which he received them, the
manner in which he executed them, and the time and place the process was served
and shall sign the returns officially . (Amended July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1,
Except where otherwise expressly provided by law or these rules,
the officer receiving any process to be executed shall not be entitled in any
case to demand his fee for executing the same in advance of such execution, but
his fee shall be taxed and collected as other costs in the case.July 15, 1987,
eff. Jan. 1, 1988.)
Citation and other notices may be served anywhere by (1) any
sheriff or constable or other person authorized by law or, (2) by any person
authorized by law or by written order of the court who is not less than
eighteen years of age. No person who is a party to or interested in the outcome
of a suit shall serve any process. Service by registered or certified mail and
citation by publication shall, if requested, be made by the clerk of the court
in which the case is pending. The order authorizing a person to serve process
may be made without mitten motion and no fee shall be imposed for issuance of
such order. (Amended June 10, 1980, eff. Jan. 1, 1981; July 15, 1987, eff. Jan.
The officer or authorized person to whom process is delivered
shall endorse thereon the day and hour on which he received it, and shall
execute and return the same without delay. (Amended July 11, 1977, eff. Jan. 1,
1978; July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.)
citation or an order of the court otherwise directs, the citation shall be
served by any person authorized by Rule 103 by
delivering to the
defendant, in person, a true copy of the citation with the date of delivery
endorsed thereon with a copy of the petition attached thereto, or
mailing to the
defendant by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a true
copy of the citation with a copy of the petition attached thereto.
supported by affidavit stating the location of the defendant 's usual place of
business or usual place of abode or other place where the defendant can
probably be found and stating specifically the facts showing that service has
been attempted under either (a)(I) or (a)(2) at the location named in such
affidavit but has not been successful, the court may authorize service
(1) by leaving a
true cope of the citation, with a copy of the petition attached, with anyone
over sixteen years of age at the location specified in such affidavit, or
(2) in any other
manner that the affidavit or other evidence before the court shows will be
reasonably effective to give the defendant notice of the suit. (Amended Aug.
18, 1947, eff. Dec. 31, 1947; July 22, 1975, eff. Jan. 1, 1976; July 11, 1977,
eff. Jan. 1, 1978, June 10, 1980, eff. Jan. 1, 1981; July 15, 1987, eff. Jan.
1, 1988; April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990.)
The return of the officer or authorized person executing the citation
shall be endorsed on or attached to the same ; it shall state when the citation
was served and the manner of service and be signed by the officer officially or
by the authorized person. The return of citation by an authorized person shall
be verified. When the citation was served by registered or certified mail as
authorized by Rule 106, the return by the officer or authorized person must
also contain the return receipt with the addressee's signature. When the
officer or authorized person has not served the citation, the return shall show
the diligence used by the officer or authorized person to execute the same and
the cause of failure to execute it, and where the defendant is to be found, if
he can ascertain. Where citation is executed by an alternative method as
authorized by Rule 106, proof of service shall be made in the manner ordered by
the court. No default judgment shall be granted in any cause until the
citation, or process under Rules 108 or 108a, with proof of service as provided
by this rule or by Rules 108 or 108a, or as ordered by the court in the event
citation is executed under Rule 106, shall have been on file with the clerk of
the court ten days, exclusive of the day of filing and the day of judgment.
(Amended July 11, 1977, eff. Jan. 1, 1978; June 10, 1980, eff. Jan. 1, 1981;
July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990.) RULE
Manner. Service of
process may be effected upon a party in a foreign count if service of the
citation and petition is made: (a) in the manner prescribed by the law of the
foreign country for service in that country in an action in any of its courts
of general jurisdiction; or (b) as directed by the foreign authority in
response to a letter rogatory or a letter of request; or (c) in the manner
provided by Rule 106; or (d) pursuant to the terms and provisions of any
applicable treaty or convention; or (e) by diplomatic or consular officials
when authorized by the United States Department of State; or (f) by any other
means directed by the court that is not prohibited by the law of the country
where service is to be made. The method for service of process in a foreign
country must be reasonably calculated, under all of the circumstances, to give
actual notice of the proceedings to the defendant in time to answer and defend.
A defendant served with process under this rule shall be required to appear and
answer in the same manner and time and under the same penalties as if he had
been personally served with citation Within this state to the full extent that
he may be required to appear and answer under the Constitution of the United
States or under any applicable convention or treaty in an action either in rem
or in personam.
Return. Proof of
service may be made as prescribed by the law of the foreign country, by order
of the court, by Rule 107, or by a method provided in any applicable treaty or
convention. (Added Dec. 5, 1983, eff. April 1, 1984.)
Every subpoena must be issued in the name of "The State of
Texas" and must:
state the style of
the suit and its cause number;
state the court in
which the suit is pending;
state the date on
which the subpoena is issued;
person to whom the subpoena is directed;
state the time,
place, and nature of the action required by the person to whom the subpoena is
directed, as provided in Rule 176.2;
identify the party
at whose instance the subpoena is issued, and the party's attorney of record,
state the text of
Rule 176.8(a); and
be signed by the
person issuing the subpoena.
A subpoena must command the person to whom it is directed to do
either or both of the following:
- attend and give
testimony at a deposition, hearing, or trial;
- produce and permit
inspection and copying of designated documents or tangible things in the
possession, custody, or control of that person.
Range. A person
may not be required by subpoena to appear or produce documents or other things in
a county that is more than 150 miles from where the person resides or is
served. However, a person whose appearance or production at a deposition may be
compelled by notice alone under Rules 199.3 or 200.2 may be required to appear
and produce documents or other things at any location permitted under Rules
Use for Discovery.
A subpoena may not be used for discovery to an extent, in a manner, or at a
time other than as provided by the rules governing discovery.
A subpoena may be issued by:
the clerk of the
appropriate district, county, or justice court, who must provide the party
requesting the subpoena with an original and a copy for each witness to be
completed by the party;
authorized to practice in the State of Texas, as an officer of the court; or
authorized to take depositions in this State, who must issue the subpoena
immediately on a request accompanied by a notice to take a deposition under
Rules 199 or 200, or a notice under Rule 205.3, and who may also serve the
notice with the subpoena.
Manner of Service.
A subpoena may be served at any place within the State of Texas by any sheriff
or constable of the State of Texas, or any person who is not a party and is 18
years of age or older. A subpoena must be served by delivering a copy to the
witness and tendering to that person any fees required by law. If the witness
is a party and is represented by an attorney of record in the proceeding, the
subpoena may be served on the witness's attorney of record.
Proof of Service.
Proof of service must be made by filing either:
signed written memorandum attached to the subpoena showing that the witness
accepted the subpoena; or
a statement by the
person who made the service stating the date, time, and manner of service, and
the name of the person served.
Required. Except as provided in this subdivision, a person served with a
subpoena must comply with the command stated therein unless discharged by the
court or by the party summoning such witness. A person commanded to appear and
give testimony must remain at the place of deposition hearing, or trial from
day to day until discharged by the court or by the party summoning the witness.
Organizations. If a
subpoena commanding testimony is directed to a corporation, partnership,
association, governmental agency, or other organization, and the matters on
which examination is requested are described with reasonable particularity, the
organization must designate one or more persons to testify on its behalf as to
matters known or reasonably available to the organization.
Documents or Tangible Things. A person commanded to produce documents or
tangible things need not appear in person at the time and place of production
unless the person is also commanded to attend and give testimony, either in the
same subpoena or a separate one. A person must produce documents as they are
kept in the usual course of business or must organize and label them to correspond
with the categories in the demand. A person may withhold material or
information claimed to be privileged but must comply with Rule 193.3. A
nonparty's production of a document authenticates the document for use against
the nonparty to the same extent as a party's production of a document is
authenticated for use against the party under Rule 193.7.
person commanded to produce and permit inspection or copying of designated
documents and things may serve on the party requesting issuance of the subpoena
- before the time specified for compliance - written objections to producing
any or all of the designated materials. A person need not comply with the part
of a subpoena to which objection is made as provided in this paragraph unless
ordered to do so by the court. The party requesting the subpoena may move for
such an order at any time after an objection is made.
A person commanded to appear at a deposition, hearing, or trial, or to produce
and permit inspection and copying of designated documents and things, and any
other person affected by the subpoena, may move for a protective order under
Rule 192.6(b) - before the time specified for compliance - either in the court
in which the action is pending or in a district court in the county where the
subpoena was served. The person must serve the motion on all parties in
accordance with Rule 21a. A person need not comply with the part of a subpoena
from which protection is sought under this paragraph unless ordered to do so by
the court. The party requesting the subpoena may seek such an order at any time
after the motion for protection is filed.
Trial Subpoenas. A
person commanded to attend and give testimony, or to produce documents or
things, at a hearing or trial, may object or move for protective order before
the court at the time and place specified for compliance, rather than under
paragraphs (d) and (e).
A party causing a subpoena to issue must take reasonable steps to
avoid imposing undue burden or expense on the person served. In ruling on
objections or motions for protection, the court must provide a person served
with a subpoena an adequate time for compliance, protection from disclosure of
privileged material or information, and protection from undue burden or
expense. The court may impose reasonable conditions on compliance with a
subpoena, including compensating the witness for undue hardship.
by any person without adequate excuse to obey a subpoena served upon that
person may be deemed a contempt of the court from which the subpoena is issued
or a district court in the county in which the subpoena is served, and may be
punished by fine or confinement, or both.
Proof of Payment
of Fees Required for Fine or Attachment. A fine may not be imposed, nor a
person served with a subpoena attached, for failure to comply with a subpoena
without proof by affidavit of the party requesting the subpoena or the party's
attorney of record that all fees due the witness by law were paid or tendered.
(Added Aug. 5, 1998, and amended Nov. 9, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.) Texas
Statutes Art. 2.11 BUS. CORP. ACT. Service of Process on Corporation A. The
president and all vice presidents of the corporation and the registered agent
of the corporation shall be agents of such corporation upon whom any process,
notice, or demand required or permitted by law to be served upon the de in the
same manner as service is made on unknown shareholders under law.
Notwithstanding any disability or reinstatement of a corporation, service of
process under this section is sufficient for a judgment against the corporation
or a judgment in rem against any property to which the corporation holds title.
Acts 1955, 54th Leg., p. 239, ch. 64, eff. Sept. 6, 1955. Sec. D added by Acts
1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1481, § 40, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.
In Texas, lobbyists and state officials are always active in
transforming laws concerning civil procedure.
As a result, state information offered on our website may have been
amended recently. For contemporary
process serving and civil statutes, visit the official Texas Judicial System
Court website: http://www.txnd.uscourts.gov/