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.
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.
- King County Law Library has a video with instructions on service of process (initial service in a case).
- Navigate Law Group has a blog post about how to serve the other party in a new family law matter
Forms and instructions
- Written instructions and forms lists for service of process in family court matters from the Clark County Clerk
- Additional instructions from the King County Court Family Law Facilitator
- Forms and instructions for personal service in a family law case from Washington LawHelp
- Forms and instructions to serve by mail or publication from Washington LawHelp
- Forms and instructions if you need to serve the state because your case involves setting or changing child support and the children or either parent receives public assistance