What is process service / process serving?

Region: Ontario Answer # 3000

Process service, also known as “service of process,” is the legal procedure required by courts and other tribunals of giving notice to all parties when facing legal action against them in a court of law or an administrative court.

Notice is given to ensure parties are aware of:

  • which court or tribunal the legal action is taking place in (Civil Court, Family Court, Small Claims Court),
  • the claims or statements made by opposing parties, and
  • any deadlines for responding.

Notice is served to the party whom the legal action is directed through the delivery of documents (called process) describing the legal action.

Although generally documents may be served by any individual over the age of 18 in Ontario, most often a professional process server is hired to ensure that the papers are properly served according to provincial rules and guidelines, guaranteeing that the service is recognized by the courts.

The method of delivery, or service, may differ depending on the type of documents, and the rules of the court in which the legal action is taking place.



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