Serving court documents

General information

After filing your lawsuit, you must serve the documents on the other parties ("service of process"). Court rules about service for Superior Court cases or District Court cases apply.

Service of paperwork is a critical part of the legal action. Service is required to give the other party notice that you have filed a legal action, and to give the other party a chance to respond. Failure to provide valid proof of service may prevent you from finalizing your court action.

King County Law Library has a video with instructions on service of process (initial service in a case).

Service can be done by someone who is 18 or older who is not a party in the case. You can search online for private process servers. The Clark County Sheriff's Office Civil Unit also serves legal documents throughout the county for a fee. There is no fee associated with service of protection orders.

Forms and instructions