Proper Service of Process in Alaska

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Serving court papers to a person that lives in Alaska is often more difficult than other states due to the separation from the rest of the United States. It is important to know what ways are possible for someone to receive these papers in Alaska so that no violations occur which could throw off this initial process.

It is important for individuals to know how documents served to an individual occur properly. These situations must include notice of filing by the opposite party, notice of rulings by the court, an opportunity for filings responses and hearing and trial presentation of information. Each side needs to have a chance to respond to the allegations and to give a statement or a response when permitted by the courts. Every document filed with the court needs to also copy to the opposing side in court matters. However, the lawyer may do so on behalf of his or her client.

Serving Various Papers

For most issues where a plaintiff and defendant will go through the courts on a specific matter, the plaintiff may have his or her lawyer present papers. However, protective orders or certain issues may require or have use of the local law enforcement or state troopers in serving these documents to the opposing party. The opposite party in the claim needs special notes, an adult representing him or her if the person is not of age and a summons to court when the presence is necessary. Serving these papers needs to occur after filing with the court and within 120 of filing, otherwise the court will close the case.

For other services, the individual that serves may do so right before filing with the court or immediately afterwards. A timely serving of the documentation is necessary so there is enough time to respond for the opposing side. If the person has a lawyer hired already, the papers should go through the legal representative’s office or mailed to his or her address. If the opposing person has a lawyer, he or she should not receive the papers personally. However, if he or she is representing the case without a lawyer, the served summons may be mailed to the home address.

Rules to Summon

Usually, the summons must occur through a certified mail, restricted delivery, a process server or through a return receipt. Serving the summons must not go through first-class United States mail or by hand delivery in Alaska. Certified mail is usually the action taken in these matters. Restricted delivery and certified mail usually require a return receipt so when the defendant signs for the mail, a card is sent back to the plaintiff. This is what is necessary as proof that the opposing party was given the paperwork about the complaint. A process server may provide a guaranteed manner to supply the opposing party the paperwork.

Process Server Explained

While certified mail is possible in Alaska, the most reliable form of serving a summons is through a process server. This could cost $65 or more per each serving, but it is often the better possible option when ensuring that a summons to court occurs. The Alaska Court Systems website has all authorized process server individuals that may ensure the defendant or witness receives the necessary paperwork. The plaintiff is responsible for choosing the process server and ensuring that payment transfers for these services. Hiring does require a Service Instructions form given to the individual and copies of the summons.

Proof of Service forms are necessary after the summons received by the defendant occurs. If someone outside of Alaska needs hiring for these matters, other arrangements are necessary as well as a Return of Service to the process server. Hand delivery may be the best option for answers to summons, motions, and other documents that need serving to the other party or to respond to the opposing individual. These documents may send through first class United States mail for Alaska processes. If the defendant has a lawyer, the legal representative may receive the summons directly or the defendant may receive it in the presence of his or her lawyer.

Hiring a Lawyer in Alaska

When summons need to process with the defendant, it is often best to have a lawyer. This legal professional may provide advice, explain details and hire someone to ensure the serving of paperwork occurs. It is vital that summons and serving of other documents happens through valid processes or the case may fail.


Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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