Affidavit of service meaning is a document that process servers provide to prove they have successfully served legal process. It is sometimes called proof of service.

What Is Affidavit of Service?

An affidavit of service is signed by the server and notarized. It indicates:

  • The identity of the person served.
  • The date and time of service.
  • The manner of service.
  • Other relevant details.

This is used to prove that a person has been served if an individual claims he or she has not been notified of pending legal action.

An affidavit of due diligence is used to show that the process server made a number of attempts but was unable to provide service. This shows that every effort was made to notify someone of pending legal proceedings.

Service of legal papers to both the plaintiff and the defendant is mandatory for a legal judgment or a case. Each party receives duplicate paperwork. The process server must be a neutral third party, often a law enforcement agent or a professional process server.

Different states have different requirements for the affidavit of service. These forms may be provided by the court. Whenever possible, personal service is required.

The form can be notarized at the courthouse or town hall. The affidavit of service should be used if:

  • You have been hired to serve court documents as a process server.
  • You have hired someone else to act as a process server and need proof that the job was complete.

Serving papers can be difficult, since the people you are trying to see generally want to avoid you. The affidavit of service provides proof via a formal sworn statement that the job is complete.

Why Is an Affidavit of Service Important?

If the court does not have this document on file, the case may be dismissed for improper service of process. If process was not served, an affidavit of nonservice that shows a good faith effort is required.

If an affidavit of service is fraudulent, an improper service of process can lead to a case dismissal, and the process server may be subject to a civil suit and prosecuted for forgery of court documents, which is a criminal offense. For this reason, parties must be sure to hire reputable, honest process servers.

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