Georgia Rules of Civil Procedure
Because the rules of civil procedure may change from time to time, please check the Georgia Courts website for updated and complete rules of civil procedure in Georgia.
Rules of Civil Procedure in Georgia:
From Title 9. Civil Practice
A person subject to the
jurisdiction of the courts of the
state under Code Section 9-10-91, or
his executor or administrator, may
be served with a summons outside the
state in the same manner as service
is made within the state by any
person authorized to make service by
the laws of the state, territory,
possession, or country in which
service is made or by any duly
qualified attorney, solicitor,
barrister, or the equivalent in such
Summons - Issuance.
Upon the filing of the complaint the clerk shall forthwith issue a summons and deliver it for service. Upon request of the plaintiff separate or additional summons shall issue against any defendants.
Summons - Form.
The summons shall be signed by the clerk; contain the name of the court and county and the names of the parties; be directed to the defendant; state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff's address; and state the time within which this chapter requires the defendant to appear and file appropriate defensive pleadings with the clerk of the court, and shall notify the defendant that in case of his failure to do so judgment by default will be rendered against him for the relief demanded in the complaint.
Summons - By whom served.
Process shall be served by the sheriff of the county where the action is brought or where the defendant is found, or by his deputy, or by the marshal or sheriff of the court, or by his deputy, or by any citizen of the United States specially appointed by the court for that purpose or by someone who is not a party and is not younger than 18 years of age and has been appointed as a permanent process server by the court in which the action is brought. Where the service of process is made outside of the United States, after an order of publication, it may be served either by any citizen of the United States or by any resident of the country, territory, colony, or province who is specially appointed by the court for that purpose. When service is to be made within this state, the person making such service shall make the service within five days from the time of receiving the summons and complaint; but failure to make service within the five-day period will not invalidate a later service.
Summons - Personal service.
The summons and complaint shall be served together. The plaintiff shall furnish the clerk of the court with such copies as are necessary. Service shall be made by delivering a copy of the summons attached to a copy of the complaint as follows:
Summons - Other service:
Service by Publication.
Personal service outside the state.
Personal service outside the state upon a natural person may be made:
Territorial limits of effective service.
All process may be served anywhere within the territorial limits of the state and, when a statute so provides, beyond the territorial limits of the state.
The person serving the process shall make proof of service thereof to the court promptly and, in any event, within the time during which the person served must respond to the process. Proof of service shall be as follows:
At any time in its discretion and upon such terms as it deems just, the court may allow any process or proof of service thereof to be amended, unless it clearly appears that material prejudice would result to the substantial rights of the party against whom the process issued.
The methods of service provided in this Code section are cumulative and may be utilized with, after, or independently of other methods of service. Whenever a statute provides for another method of service, service may be made under the circumstances and in the manner prescribed by the statute or under any other methods prescribed in this Code section. The provisions for service by publication provided in this Code section shall apply in any action or proceeding in which service by publication may be authorized by law; and, where by law special provision is made for service by publication, the procedure for such service by publication provided in this Code section may be utilized in lieu thereof. In all cases or special proceedings where the requirements or procedure for service, or both, are not prescribed by law and in any situation where the provisions therefor are not clear or certain, the court may prescribe service according to the exigencies of each case, consistent with the Constitution.
Service in probate courts and special statutory proceedings.
The methods of service provided
in this Code section may be used as
alternative methods of service in
proceedings in the probate courts
and in any other special statutory
proceedings and may be used with,
after, or independently of the
method of service specifically
provided for in any such proceeding;
and, in any such proceeding, service
shall be sufficient when made in
accordance with the statutes
relating particularly to the
proceeding or in accordance with
this Code section.
24-10-23. Service of subpoenas.
A subpoena may be served by any
sheriff, by his deputy, or by any
other person not less than 18 years
of age. Proof may be shown by return
or certificate endorsed on a copy of
the subpoena. Subpoenas may also be
served by registered or certified
mail, and the return receipt shall
constitute prima-facie proof of
service. Service upon a party may be
made by serving his counsel of
The acceptance by any nonresident of this state whether a person, firm, or corporation, of the rights and privileges conferred by the laws now or hereafter enforced in this state permitting the operation of motor vehicles, as evidenced by the operation of a motor vehicle by any such nonresident anywhere within the territorial limits of this state, shall be deemed equivalent to the appointment by such nonresident of the Secretary of State of Georgia, or his successor in office, to be his true and lawful attorney in fact upon whom may be served all summonses or other lawful processes in any action or proceeding against any such nonresident growing out of any accident or collision in which any such nonresident may be involved by reason of the operation by him, for him, or under his control or direction, express or implied, of a motor vehicle anywhere within the territorial limits of the State of Georgia, and said acceptance or operation shall be a signification of his agreement that any such process against him shall be of the same legal force and validity as if served upon him personally.
If such nonresident motorist is
a minor, then the minor and his
parents or guardians shall be deemed
to have assented to the appointment
by such nonresident minor and his
parents or guardians of the
Secretary of State of Georgia, or
his successor in office, to be the
true and lawful attorney in fact for
such minor and his parents or
guardians, upon whom may be served
any summons or other lawful process
in any action or proceeding against
such nonresident minor, his parents,
or guardians growing out of any
accident or collision in which any
such nonresident minor may be
involved by reason of the operation
by him, for him, or under his
control or direction, express or
implied, of a motor vehicle anywhere
within the territorial limits of the
State of Georgia, and such
acceptance or operation shall be a
signification of his agreement or an
agreement for him by his parents or
guardians that any such process
against him or them shall be of the
same legal force and validity as if
served upon him or them personally;
and in this respect, the court
wherein such action shall have been
filed shall be authorized to
appoint, upon motion duly made, a
guardian ad litem for such minor for
the purposes of defending such suit.
40-12-2. How service on nonresident made.
Service of process upon a
nonresident pursuant to Code Section
40-12-1 shall be made by serving a
copy of the complaint or other
pleading with summons attached
thereto on the Secretary of State,
his duly authorized agent, or his
successor in office, along with a
copy of the affidavit to be
submitted to the court pursuant to
this Code section. Such service
shall be sufficient service upon any
such nonresident, provided that
notice of such service and a copy of
the complaint and process are
forthwith sent by registered or
certified mail by the plaintiff to
the defendant, if his address is
known, and the defendant's return
receipt and the plaintiff's
affidavit of compliance with this
Code section are appended to the
summons or other process and filed
with the summons, complaint, and
other papers in the case in the
court wherein the action is pending.
The Secretary of State shall charge
and collect a fee as set out in Code
Section 45-13-26 for service of
process on him under this Code
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