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Missouri Rules of Civil Procedure

 

 

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Rules of Civil Procedure in Missouri:

Rule 54.01 Clerk to Issue Process - Separate or Additional Summons

Upon the filing of a pleading requiring service of process, the clerk shall forthwith issue the required summons or other process and, unless otherwise provided, deliver it for service to the sheriff or other person specially appointed to serve it. If requested in writing by the party whose pleading requires service of process, the clerk shall deliver the summons or other process to such party who shall then be responsible for promptly serving it with a copy of the pleading. Upon written request of such party, separate or additional summons and other process shall be issued.
(Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973. Amended June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1. 1994.)
Committee Note - 1974 [Repealed] (Repealed June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)


Rule 54.02 Summons Shall be Signed by Clerk

The summons shall be signed by the clerk, dated the day it is issued, be under the seal of the court, contain the name of the court and the names of the parties, and be directed to the defendant, stating the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any; otherwise the plaintiff's address. It also shall state the time within which and the place where the defendant is required to appear and defend as provided by law and shall notify the defendant that in case of failure to do so judgment by default will be entered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the petition.
(Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973. Amended Sept. 28, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)
Committee Note - 1974 This is substantially the same as prior Rule 54.02. Compare: Rule 4(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.


Rule 54.03 Service of Process Within the State - By Whom [Repealed]

Repealed. (Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973; repealed June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)


Rule 54.04 Summons - Service

A copy of the summons and petition shall be served together except when service is by publication.
(Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973.)
Committee Note - 1974 The source is prior Rule 54.04. A substantial part of the prior rule was deleted because official forms make the deleted language unnecessary. Compare: Rule 4(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.


Rule 54.05 Deputies Acting for Clerk or Sheriff

A deputy clerk or deputy sheriff shall have the same authority as the clerk or sheriff, respectively, to do any act which this Rule 54 authorizes the clerk or sheriff to do.
(Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973.)
Committee Note - 1974 This is substantially the same as prior Rule 54.05. Compare: Rules 4(c) and 45(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.


Rule 54.06 Service Outside the State on Persons, Firms or Corporations Who do Certain Acts in This State

  1. Service outside the state sufficient to authorize a general judgment in personam may be obtained upon any person, executor, administrator or other legal representative, firm or corporation, whether or not a citizen or resident of this state, who in person or through an agent does any of the acts enumerated in this Rule 54.06:
    1. Transacts any business within this state;
    2. Makes any contract within this state;
    3. Commits a tortious act within this state;
    4. Owns, uses or possesses any real estate situated in this state;
    5. Contracts to insure any person, property or risk located within this state at the time of contracting;
    6. Engages in an act of sexual intercourse within this state with the mother of a child within or near the probable period of conception of that child.
  2. Service sufficient to authorize a general judgment in personam may be obtained on any person, any person's personal representative, or other legal representative, whether or not a citizen or resident of the state who has lived in lawful marriage within this state, as to all civil actions for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation and all obligations arising for maintenance of a /b>Rule 54.08 Service on Nonresident Motorists or Nonresident Watercraft Owners or Operators

In civil actions in which service of process may be obtained under the provision of sections 506.200 to 506.310, 506.330, or 506.340, RSMo, service of process may be made as provided in Rule 54.14 or Rule 54.15 or Rule 54.16. (Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973. Amended June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994; amended May 27, 1999, effective January 1, 2000.)


Rule 54.09 Service of Foreign Corporations

In civil actions in which the service of process may be obtained under the provisions of section 351.380, RSMo, service of process may be made as provided in Rule 54.14 or Rule 54.16.
(Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973. Amended June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)
Committee Note - 1974 [Repealed] (Repealed June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)


Rule 54.10 Service on Insurance Companies Not Authorized to do Business in This State

In civil actions in which service of process may be obtained under the provisions of section 375.256, RSMo, service of process may be made as provided in Rule 54.14 or Rule 54.15 or Rule 54.16. (Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973. Amended June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.) Committee Note - 1974 [Repealed] (Repealed June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)


Rule 54.11 Service on Resident or Nonresident Motor Carrier

In civil actions in which service of process may be obtained under the provisions of section 508.070, RSMo, service of process may be made as provided in Rule 54.14 or Rule 54.15 or Rule 54.16. (Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973. Amended June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.) Committee Note - 1974 [Repealed] (Repealed June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)


Rule 54.12 Service - In Rem or Quasi In Rem Civil Actions

Service, Generally.

In civil actions affecting a fund, will, trust, estate, specific property, or any interest therein, or any res or status within the jurisdiction of the court, service of process may be made as provided in Rule 54.13 or Rule 54.14, or as otherwise provided in this Rule 54.12.

Service by Mail.

A party requesting service by registered or certified mail shall file an affidavit made by the party or by someone on behalf of the party, stating:

  1. Why personal service cannot be had in this state on the party to be served by mail, and
  2. The name and address of the party to be served by mail. The clerk shall thereupon mail to the party to be served a summons and copy of the pleading by registered or certified mail, requesting a return receipt signed by addressee only.

Service by Publication.

  1. Service by publication shall be by notice published by order of the court or clerk thereof.
  2. Such order shall issue when the party desiring service by publication files a statement verified by the party or by a person on behalf of the party stating: (A) that one or more of the persons to be served are unborn or their names are unknown to the party desiring service by publication or facts showing why service cannot be obtained under Rule 54.12 (b), Rule 54.13, Rule 54.14 or Rule 54.16, and (B) the last known address of the party to be served or in lieu thereof a statement that said address is unknown. It shall be sufficient to name or describe unborn or unknown parties as the heirs, grantees or successors of the person to whom the property to be affected was last known to have been transferred.
  3. The notice shall state: (A) that an action has been commenced; (B) briefly the object and general nature thereof; (C) a description of any property to be affected; (D) the name of the court and the names of the parties to the civil action; (E) the name and address of the attorney, if any, for plaintiff, otherwise the plaintiffs address; (F) that judgment by default will be entered against defendant unless the defendant files an answer or other pleading or otherwise appears and defends within forty-five days after the date of the first publication, or such longer time as the court may fix by order; and (G) the date of the first publication.
  4. The notice shall be published at least once each week for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county where the civil action is commenced designated by the party requesting publication. If there is no such newspaper, then the publication shall be in a newspaper designated by the court.
  5. If the address of any of the parties to be served by publication is given in the verified statement, the clerk shall: (A) within ten days after such order of publication mail a copy of the order of publication of notice and a copy of the petition to each such defendant and (B) file a certificate that such copies have been mailed.
    (Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973. Amended June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994; April 23, 1996, effective Jan. 1, 1997.) Committee Note - 1974 [Repealed] (Repealed June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)

Rule 54.13 Personal Service Within the State

By Whom Made.

Service of process within the state, except as otherwise provided by law, shall be made by the sheriff or a person over the age of 18 years who is not a party to the action.

How and on Whom Made.

Personal service within the state shall be made as follows:

  1. On Individual. Upon an individual, including an infant or incompetent person not having a legally appointed guardian, by delivering a copy of the summons and petition personally to the individual or by leaving a copy of the summons and petition at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of the individual's family over the age of fifteen years, or by delivering a copy of the summons and petition to an agent authorized by appointment or required by law to receive service of process.
  2. On Conservator. Upon an infant or disabled or incapacitated person who has a legally appointed conservator, by delivering a copy of the summons and petition to the conservator as provided in Rule 54.13(b)(1).
  3. On Corporation, Partnership or Other Unincorporated Association. Upon a domestic or foreign corporation or upon a partnership or other unincorporated association, when it may be sued as such, by delivering a copy of the summons and petition to an officer, partner, or managing or general agent, or by leaving the copies at any business office of the defendant with the person having charge thereof or by delivering copies to its registered agent or to any other agent authorized by appointment or required by law to receive service of process.
  4. On Public or Quasi-Public Corporation or Body. Upon a public, municipal, governmental or quasi-public corporation or body, by delivering a copy of the summons and petition to the clerk of the county court in the case of a county, to the mayor or city clerk or city attorney in the case of a city, to the chief executive officer in the case of any public, municipal, governmental or quasi-public corporation or body or to any person otherwise lawfully so designated. If no person above specified is available for service, the court out of which the process issued may designate an appropriate person to whom copies of the summons and petition may be delivered in order to effect service.

Acknowledgment of Service.

When a defendant shall acknowledge in writing, endorsed on the process, signed by the defendant's own proper signature, the service of such process, and waive the necessity of the service thereof by an officer, such acknowledgment shall be deemed as valid as service in the manner provided by law. Acknowledgment of service by mail may also be made as provided in Rule 54.16.

Where Process May Be Served in This State.

All process issued for service within this state may be served anywhere within the state and may be forwarded to the sheriff of any county for the purpose of service.
(Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973. Amended June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)
Committee Note - 1974 [Repealed] (Repealed June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)


Rule 54.14 Personal Service Outside the State

By Whom Made.

Personal service outside the state shall be made:

  1. By a person authorized by law to serve process in civil actions within the state or territory where such service is made, or by the deputy of a person so authorized;
  2. By a person appointed by the court in which the action is pending.

Upon Whom.

The service of process shall be made as provided in Rule 54.13(b).

Acknowledgment.

Acknowledgment of service by mail may be made as provided in Rule 54.16.
(Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973. Amended June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)
Committee Note - 1974 [Repealed] (Repealed June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)


Rule 54.15 Service on Secretary of State, Secretary of Public Service Commission and Director of Insurance

Service of Process.

Service of process on the secretary of state, secretary of the public service commission or director of insurance shall be made by serving a copy of the summons and petition, together with any remittance fixed by statute, on the respective official. The service of process shall be made as provided in Rule 54.13 or Rule 54.16.

Notice to Defendant.

The secretary of state, secretary of the public service commission or director of the department of insurance shall forthwith mail to the defendant at the defendant's last known address a copy of such service and a copy of the summons and petition. The mailing shall be by registered or certified mail requesting a return receipt signed by addressee only.

Form of Notice.

The notice provided for in Rule 54.15 (b) shall be in substantially the following form:

To _______(here insert the name of the defendant and defendant's last known address.)
You will take notice that original process in the suit against you, a copy of which is attached hereto, was duly served upon you at _______(city), Missouri, by serving the same on _______(here insert the name of the public official.) Dated at __________________, Missouri, this ________ day of _______, 20__. _____________________
(appropriate official)
(Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973. Amended June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)
Committee Note - 1974 [Repealed] (Repealed June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)


Rule 54.16 Acknowledgement of Service by Mail

Service of the summons and petition upon a resident or nonresident defendant of any class referred to in Rule 54.13(b)(1) (2) or (3) may be made by mailing a copy of the summons and petition by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the person to be served, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment conforming substantially to Civil Procedure Form 4B or Civil Procedure Form 4C and a return envelope, postage prepaid addressed to the sender. If no acknowledgment of service under this Rule 54.16 is completed and returned to the sender, service of the summons and petition shall be made as otherwise provided by statute or rule. Unless good cause is shown for not doing so, the court shall order the payment of costs of service on the person served if such person does not complete and return within thirty days after mailing, the notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons.
(Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973. Amended June 14, 1988, effective Jan. 1, 1989; June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.) Committee Note - 1974 [Repealed] (Repealed June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)


Rule 54.17 Service by Publication [Repealed]

Repealed.
(Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973; repealed June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)


Rule 54.18 Service Authorized by Statue

Where a statute contains provisions for a method of service, service may be made pursuant to the provisions of the statute or as provided by these Rules.
(Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973.)
Committee Note - 1974 This is new.


Rule 54.19 Provisions No Bar to Personal Service in State

The foregoing provisions relative to service of process in suits against non-residents do not prevent personal service in the state upon a non-resident.
(Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973.)
Committee Note - 1974 This is substantially the same as prior Rule 54.18.

Rule 54.20 Proof of Service

  1. Within the State-Officer's Returns-Affidavits of Service.
    1. Every officer to whom summons or other process shall be delivered for service within the state shall make return thereof in writing as to the time, place and manner of service of such writ and shall sign such return.
    2. If service of such process is made by a person other than an officer such person shall make affidavit as to the time, place and manner of service thereof.
    3. If service of process is made pursuant to Rule 54.16, the defendant's acknowledgment, executed pursuant to Rule 54.16, shall constitute proof of service.
  2. Outside the State-Officer's Returns-Affidavits of Service.
    1. Every officer to whom summons or other process shall be delivered for service outside the state shall make an affidavit before the clerk or judge of the court of which affiant is an officer or other person authorized to administer oaths in such state stating the time, place and manner of such service, the official character of the affiant, and the affiant's authority to serve process in civil actions within the state or territory where such service was made. The court may consider the affidavit or any other evidence in determining whether service has been properly made.
    2. If service of such process is made by a person appointed by the court in which the action is pending such person shall file an affidavit stating the time, place and manner of such service. The court may consider the affidavit or any other evidence in determining whether service has been properly made.
    3. If service of process is made outside the state pursuant to Rule 54.16, the defendant's acknowledgment, executed pursuant to Rule 54.16, shall constitute proof of service of process.
  3. Certificate of Secretary of State, Secretary of Public Service Commission and Director of Insurance Mailing of Notice. The notice specified in Rule 54.15 shall be proved by the affidavit of the official mailing such notice. The affidavit shall be endorsed upon or attached to the original papers to which it relates and it, together with the return registered or certified mail receipt, shall be forthwith filed in the court in which the action is pending.
  4. Clerk's Certificate Service by Mail. Service by mail pursuant to Rule 54.12 shall be proved by the certificate of the clerk that a copy of the summons and petition has been mailed and by the filing of the return registered or certified receipt.
  5. Affidavit Certificate Service by Publication. Service by publication shall be proved by an affidavit showing the dates upon which and the newspaper in which the notice was published. A copy of the notice shall be attached to the affidavit which shall be filed. The clerk's certificate that a copy of the notice upon order for service by publication and a copy of the petition were mailed to defendant at the address stated in the plaintiff's petition or in the affidavit for order of publication and the date of the mailing shall likewise be filed.
  6. Refusal to Receive Service. When the person to be served or an agent authorized to accept service of process for the person to be served, either within or outside the state, shall refuse to receive copies thereof, the offer of the server to deliver copies thereof, and such refusal, when these facts are shown on the server's return, shall constitute proof of service. When service is made by mail pursuant to Rule 54.12, a notation made pursuant to applicable United States Postal Service regulation that the certified or registered mail has been refused shall constitute proof of service.
    (Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973. Amended June 5, 1980, effective Jan. 1, 1981; amended by L.1988, H.B.No. 1660, effective Aug. 13, 1988; amended June 14, 1988, effective Jan. 1, 1989; June 2, 1992, effective Jan. 1, 1993; June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)
    Committee Note - 1974 [Repealed] (Repealed June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)

Rule 54.21 Time for Service and Return

The officer or other person receiving a summons or other process shall serve the same and make return of service promptly. If the process cannot be served it shall be returned to the court within thirty days after the date of issue with a statement of the reason for the failure to serve the same; provided, however, that the time for service thereof may be extended up to ninety days from the date of issue by order of the court.
(Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973.)
Committee Note - 1974 This is substantially the same as prior Rule 54.10 (d). Compare: Rule 4(g) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.


Rule 54.22 Court May Allow Process, Return of Proof of Service to be Amended, When

  1. The court may in its discretion allow any process, return or proof of service thereof to be filed or amended at any time unless it clearly appears that material prejudice would result to the substantial rights of the party against whom the process issued. The return of service shall be considered prima facie evidence of the facts recited therein.
  2. The party served, or the sheriff, sheriff's deputies and sureties or any other person making the service shall be permitted to show the true facts of service and impeach the return when the return does not comport with the facts as found by the court. If the court finds that the facts recited in the return are not true, the court may set aside a judgment if one has been entered or may modify the same in whole or in part as justice may require or take such further action it deems proper.
    (Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, effective Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by L. 1984, H.B. No. 947, p. 792, 1, effective Aug. 13, 1984; June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)
    Committee Note - 1974 [Repealed] (Repealed June 1, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)

Rule 57.09 Subpoena for Taking Deposition

  1. For Attendance of Witnesses; Form; Issuance. Every subpoena shall be issued by the officer or person before whom depositions may be taken as designated in Rule 57.05 or 57.06 or by the clerk of the court in which the civil action is pending, shall state the name of the court and the title of the civil action, and shall command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony at a time and place therein specified.
  2. For Production of Documentary Evidence. A subpoena may also command the person to whom it is directed to produce the books, papers, documents, or tangible things designated therein; but the court, upon motion made promptly and in any event at or before the time specified in the subpoena for compliance therewith, may (1) quash or modify the subpoena if it is unreasonable or oppressive or (2) condition denial of the motion upon the advancement by the person in whose behalf the subpoena is issued of the reasonable cost of producing the books, papers, documents, or tangible things.
  3. Service. A subpoena may be served by the sheriff, by a sheriff's deputy, or by any other person who is not a party and is not less than eighteen years of age. Service of a subpoena upon a person named therein shall be made by delivering a copy thereof to such person and by tendering to that person the fees and mileage the witness would have been entitled to receive for attending court pursuant to subpoena.
  4. Authorization to Issue Subpoena. Proof of service of a notice to take a deposition as provided in Rules 57.03 and 57.04 is sufficient to authorize the issuance of a subpoena for taking a deposition.
  5. Contempt. Any person who without adequate excuse fails to obey a subpoena served upon the person may be held in contempt of the court in which the civil action is pending.
    (Adopted March 29, 1974, effective Jan. 1, 1976. Amended Sept. 28, 1993, effective Jan. 1, 1994.)
    Committee Note - 1974 The sources are prior Rules 57.06 (b), 57.19, 57.20 and 57.38 and Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Compare: Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

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