Facts about the Affidavit of Service template

What is an Affidavit of Service?

An affidavit of service is a written statement certifying that legal documents were properly delivered, or served, to the other party in a court case. Usually, the affidavit of service is filled out by a professional delivery person, called a process server. In the affidavit, the process server swears that he or she served the documents as required, either in person or by mail.
This type of affidavit plays a large role in court cases. It acts as a kind of “receipt” that the required court documents, such as subpoenas and legal notices, were provided to the appropriate individual. This is why affidavits of service are also called proof of service affidavits. Many court cases involve documents that have to be handed over to the opposite side, such as witness lists, pieces of evidence and other legal forms. Certifying that these documents were delivered correctly is a fundamental requirement. The initial lawsuit from the plaintiff and the legal answer from the defendant are usually delivered in person via a process server. Once these documents have been filed with the judge and the correct mailing address for both parties is confirmed, other documents may be served through mail. In all cases, it’s necessary to fill out an affidavit of service.

What is an Affidavit of Service used for?

Most court cases involve countless documents that change hands between both parties, including the complaint, answer, cross complaints, legal motions and evidence documents. Any time court documents are delivered in person or by mail, you need to obtain an affidavit of service from the process server. For example, in a divorce case, the party requesting a divorce would need to deliver the papers to the spouse via a process server, and then obtain a notarized affidavit of service as proof. In lawsuits involving landlords and tenants, any eviction notices, orders or lawsuit notifications need an accompanying affidavit of service.

Why should you use an Affidavit of Service?

Obtaining a complete and accurate affidavit of service from the process server is essential every time documents are mailed in a court case. This acts as proof that documents were delivered according to legal requirements. For the plaintiff, the defendant or the process server, keeping records of these forms is a must. Process servers who provide a wrong affidavit of service can lose their jobs or face legal consequences.
An affidavit that is discovered to be false, incomplete or missing can also lead to severe problems for the legal party responsible. In the case of the defendant or the plaintiff, the judge can dismiss the court case, find in favor of the opposite party or even file charges of contempt of court, which can carry fines or prison time. A loss in court means significant costs and damages.

How to write an Affidavit of Service?

The main parts of an affidavit of service revolve around the personal information of the server and the recipient, in addition a notarized signature. Some states require the process server to swear that they are not related to or coworkers of the parties of the lawsuit. Here are various essential parts to include:

  • Your name: Include your full name in the beginning of the affidavit of service.
  • Your Address: Write the person’s complete street address, including the ZIP code.
  • Your age: You don’t need to put your date of birth, just that you’re over the age of 18.
  • The date and time: Write the specific date and time you mailed the documents or handed them to the recipient.
  • The documents delivered: Mention the type of documents served, such as divorce papers or court summons.
  • The person who received the papers: Put the legal name of the recipient.
  • The place where the documents were served: Write the street address where you delivered the documents, including the apartment number, city, county, state and zip code.
  • The method of delivery: Specify whether the papers were delivered in person or mailed. If you mailed them, write the name of the company you used, such as the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx or UPS.
  • The appearance of the recipient: In the case of personal delivery, describe the individual you delivered the documents to, such as their approximate age, gender, race, weight, height, hair color and glasses.

How to fill out an Affidavit of Service with PDFSimpli in five steps

  • 1: Preparation the Information

    If you're the process server, it’s important to take careful notes when serving legal documents. You need to write down the recipient’s name and detailed information about their physical appearance. Some process servers keep a blank affidavit of service PDF on their smartphones for this purpose, but you can also use a notepad and simply fill out the form afterwards.

  • 2: Choosing a Software

    Filling out an affidavit of service requires a PDF editor with several different text tools. If you want to work from your smartphone, you also need a trustworthy app that lets you sign and edit PDF documents. PDFSimpli is a high-quality online service available on any platform, and you can also download related apps such as SCANSimpli on the App Store. PDFSimpli lets you fill out, create, edit, convert and eSign digital forms effortlessly.

  • 3: Filling Out or Edit the Affidavit Of Service:

    When you have gathered the necessary information about the recipient, fill out the affidavit of service template. Use the Text Tool at the top of the screen to add text to the blank spaces on the form. You can make text larger or smaller as needed to fit perfectly into the form fields. Using PDFSimpli, you can also create your own PDF affidavit of service using the Box Tool and Paragraph Text Tool.

  • 4: Review the information

    It’s very important to be sure that the entire document is complete for legal purposes. Make sure you entered your name correctly, the date, the recipient’s name and appearance, and details regarding the documents delivered.

  • 5: Saving, Downloading, Printing or Sending for E-Signature

    Your affidavit of service is nearly complete. Now, you just need to save the document using the Download Button at the top of the page. From your account page, you can download the PDF to your computer, print it out or email it. If you want to do things digitally (and it’s legal in your state), use our eSign tools and submit the affidavit electronically to a notary public for an eSeal.

Affidavit of Service frequently asked questions

In most states, the parties in the case aren’t allowed to serve legal papers. This includes divorce proceedings and child custody cases. One common solution is to hire a professional process server to deliver the documents. In many areas, you can also use a coworker, friend, family member, police officer or anyone else you trust who isn’t part of the lawsuit. This person must be 18 years or older.

The individual delivering the papers is required to fill out and sign an affidavit of service. Afterwards, this person needs to go to a notary public to have the signature notarized. While it’s necessary to mention the name of person receiving the documents in the affidavit and describe his or her appearance on the form, the recipient doesn’t need to sign anything.

In a sole proprietorship or partnership, give the papers to the owner or one of the partners. For a corporation or a limited liability company, you should attempt to serve the business’s registered agent, the person in charge of receiving official correspondence from the government. In some states, the process server can also deliver forms to any corporate officer, company manager or LLC member.