Process Serving Terminology

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To abscond or absconding means to go in a clandestine manner out of the jurisdiction of the court, to surreptitiously hide, conceal, or to absent one’s self with the intent to avoid or evade a legal process.

Abuse Of Process

Abuse of process refers to the improper use of process after it has been issued for a purpose for which it wasn’t intended. An example of such would be serving a legal process on an individual/entity which has not been filed with the intent to intimidate the opposing party.

Acceptance Of Service Agreement

The Acceptance of Service Agreement is an agreement by a defendant or his/her attorney to accept a complaint or petition without enlisting a private process server or sheriff. Such an acceptance requires a document entitled “Acknowledgement of Service” or similar. The language in the acceptance document must reference that there is no proof that the service actually took place.


An acknowledgment is the signature of a clerk or attorney authenticating that the person filing a document has sworn that the contents in the documents are true and accurate or that the document being filed was signed at his or her own free will.

Affidavit Of Service

A legal document intended to certify the service of legal documents to an individual/entity. The details in the affidavit should include, the individual/entity served, date and time of service and the manner of service. In some jurisdictions, a description of the individual who was served must be included in the affidavit of service. In some instances, the executor must have the affidavit notarized by a notary public or someone authorized.


A solemn and formal declaration that an affidavit is true and that the witness will tell the truth and can substitute an oath.


This is the abbreviation for "Also known As." This is used to list another name, alias or a different spelling of name that may be used by a person.

Alias Summons

An alias summons is a summons issued when the original has not produced its effect because it is defective in form or manner of services; and when issued, supersedes the first writ of summons. Some courts also refer to this as a “pluries summons.”


The rendering of a response by a defendant to the Plaintiff’s complaint. Usually this refers to a Defendant answering a set of questions set forth in the court documents presented in the Plaintiff’s complaint.


An apostille refers to a standard certification provided for the purpose of authenticating documents for use in foreign countries. This is the means by which signatures on a document are authenticated and is recognized by an international body. The apostille itself is a stamp or printed form that consists of a certain number of specified fields including: the country name, the name of the executor, his/her function, authority, location, date, apostille registration number, signature and most importantly his/her seal or stamp.

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