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Service and Address Updates


Service of process is the delivery of the complaint and summons to the defendant through the Court. A case cannot move forward without completing service and must be completed within six months of the complaint filing date. Failure to obtain service within this time period will result in dismissal.

Service options include certified mail and personal service by a Court Service Bailiff or sheriff. Ordinary mail is an option under certain circumstances.

If service was not successful and a new address is available, complete the Instructions to the Clerk form and a new hearing date will be scheduled.

Service Request  Instructions to the Clerk

Personal service by a Court Service Bailiff is available for defendants within Franklin County. Sheriff service is an option for defendants in Ohio but outside of Franklin County.

Instructions for Personal Service  Instructions For Personal Service

Please update your address with the Court if it has changed.

Address Update Form  Address Update Form

FAQ

What service options are available?

Parties can be served by certified mail, personal service, or residence service.

Certified mail is completed when the Clerk mails a copy of the Summons and Complaint to the Defendant and the Post Office returns confirmation that service was successful.

Personal service is completed when a Court Service Bailiff physically delivers the Notice and Summons to the defendant. Similarly, residence service is completed when a Court Service Bailiff delivers the Notice and Summons to a person who is 18 years or older at the usual place where the defendant lives. Sheriff service is an option for defendants that are located outside of Franklin County.

Service costs vary based on the service type and the number of defendants served.

How do I find a name and address to complete service?

Name and address information may be available by searching the internet, a telephone book, county auditor property records, or court sites like www.fcmcclerk.com for criminal and civil case records.

If the defendant is a business, the Ohio Secretary of State website may have the name and address of the business' statutory agent authorized to receive court service.

How do I request service to a new address?

If service is not successful and a new address for a defendant is available, use the "Instructions to the Clerk" form to request certified mail or bailiff service to a new address.

Complete the case information at the top, select the service type (mark certified or bailiff) and enter the new address on the bottom right of the form. If bailiff service is requested, you must also complete the Instructions for Service of Summons form. Mail or hand-deliver the form to the Clerk of Court with the court cost.

A new hearing date will be scheduled once service is requested and the court cost is received by the Clerk.

If certified mail was requested but not returned by the Post Office, you may request service again by completing the "Instructions to the Clerk" form to request certified mail or personal service to the same address.

How do I request personal service for a defendant outside of Franklin County?

To request personal service by a sheriff outside of Franklin County three forms must be completed:

  1. Instructions to Clerk: Complete the top portion of the page, mark out of county sheriff, and write the name of the county on the blank line. If the address for the defendant is a new address, write the new address on the bottom right of the page.

  2. Instructions for Service of Summons (for Clerk): One Instructions for Service page will be mailed by the Clerk via certified mail to the sheriff. Mark certified mail on the top and bottom portions of the page and write the name and address of the sheriff’s department on the bottom portion.

  3. Instructions for Service of Summons (for Sheriff): The second Instructions for Service page will be used by the out of county sheriff to personally serve the defendant. Mark personal service on the top and bottom portions of the page and write the name and address of the defendant on the bottom portion.

The initial deposit for out of county sheriff service is $41. The final cost may be more or less after service is attempted.

How do I update my own address with the Court?
Please complete the Address Update form and either mail or hand-deliver your signed copy to the court. There is no court cost to update your own address.