RULE CRLJ 4 PROCESS (a) Summons--Issuance. (1) The summons must be signed and dated by the plaintiff or his attorney, and directed to the defendant requiring him to defend the action and to serve a copy of his appearance or defense on the person whose name is signed on the summons, and to file a copy of his appearance or defense with the court. (2) Unless a statute or rule provides for a different time requirement, the summons shall require the defendant to serve and file a copy of his defense within 20 days after the service of summons, exclusive of the day of service. If a statute or rule other than this rule provides for a different time to serve a defense, that time shall be stated in the summons. (3) A notice of appearance, if made, shall be in writing, shall be signed by the defendant or his attorney, and shall be served upon the person whose name is signed on the summons and filed with the court. (4) No summons is necessary for a counterclaim or cross claim for any person who previously has been made a party. Counterclaims and cross claims against an existing party may be served as provided in rule 5. (b) Summons. (1) Contents. The summons for personal service shall contain: (i) the title of the cause, specifying the name of the court in which the action is brought, the name of the county designated by the plaintiff as the place of trial, and the names of the parties to the action, plaintiff and defendant; (ii) a direction to the defendant summoning him to serve a copy of his defense within a time stated in the summons and to file with the court a copy of his defense within the time stated in the summons; (2) Form. The summons for personal service in the state shall be substantially in the following form: (NAME AND LOCATION OF COURT) _______________, ) Plaintiff, ) No. ______ v. ) _______________, ) SUMMONS (20 days) Defendant. ) TO THE DEFENDANT: A lawsuit has been started against you in the above entitled court by _______________, plaintiff. Plaintiff's claim is stated in the written complaint, a copy of which is served upon you with this summons. In order to defend against this lawsuit, you must respond to the complaint by stating your defense in writing, and serve a copy upon the person signing this summons within 20 days after the service of this summons, excluding the day of service, or a default judgment may be entered against you without notice. A default judgment is one where plaintiff is entitled to what he asks for because you have not responded. If you serve a notice of appearance on the undersigned person you are entitled to notice before a default judgment may be entered. Any response or notice of appearance which you serve on any party to this lawsuit must also be filed by you with the court within 20 days after the service of summons, excluding the day of service. If you wish to seek the advice of an attorney in this matter, you should do so promptly so that your written response, if any, may be served on time. This summons is issued pursuant to rule 4 of the Civil Rules for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction. (signed) _______________________________ ________________________________________ Print or Type Name ( ) Plaintiff ( ) Plaintiff's Attorney P. O. Address ___________________________ Dated __________________ Telephone Number _______________________ (c) By Whom Served. Service of summons and complaint may be made by the sheriff or a deputy of the county or district in which the court is located or by any person over the age of 18 years and who is competent to be a witness and is not a party to the action. (d) Service. (1) Of Summons and Complaint. The summons and complaint shall be served together. (2) Personal in State. Personal service of summons and other process shall be as provided in RCW 4.28.080-.090, 23B.05.040, 23B.15.100, 46.64.040, and 48.05.200 and .210, and other statutes which provide for personal service (e) Service by Publication and Personal Service Out of the Jurisdiction. (1) When the defendant cannot be found within the territorial jurisdiction of the court (of which the return of the sheriff of the county in which the action is brought, that the defendant cannot be found in the county, is prima facie evidence), and upon filing of an affidavit of the plaintiff, his agent, or attorney, with the court stating that he believes that the defendant is not a resident of the county, or cannot be found therein, and that he has deposited a copy of the summons (substantially in the form prescribed in this rule) and complaint in the post office, directed to the defendant at his place of residence, unless it is stated in the affidavit that such residence is not known to the affiant, and stating the existence of one of the cases hereinafter specified, the service may be made by publication of the summons by the plaintiff or his attorney in any of the following cases: (i) when the defendant is a foreign corporation, and has property within the county; (ii) when the defendant, being a resident of the county, has departed therefrom with intent to defraud his creditors, or to avoid the service of a notice and complaint, or keeps himself concealed therein with like intent; (iii) when the defendant is not a resident of the county, but has property therein which has been brought under the control of the court by seizure or some equivalent act; (iv) when the subject of the action is personal property in the county, and the defendant has or claims a lien or interest, actual or contingent, therein, and the relief demanded consists wholly, or partially, in excluding the defendant from any interest or lien therein; (v) when the action is brought under RCW 4.08.160 and 4.08.170 to determine conflicting claims to personal property in the county. (2) The publication shall be made in the same manner and in the same form as a summons by publication in superior court (see RCW 4.28.100), with appropriate adjustments for the name and location of the court. (3) Personal service on the defendant out of the territorial jurisdiction of the court shall be equivalent to service by publication, and the notice to the defendant out of the county shall contain the same as the notice by publication and shall require the defendant to appear at a time and place certain which shall not be less than 30 days from the date of service. (4) Service made in the modes provided in this section 4(e) shall not alone be taken and held to give the court jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. By such service the court only acquires jurisdiction to give a judgment which is effective as to property or debts attached or garnished in connection with the suit or other property which properly forms the basis of jurisdiction of the court. If the defendant appears in a suit commenced by such service the court shall have jurisdiction over his person. The defendant may appear specially and solely to challenge jurisdiction over property or debts attached or garnished or other property within the jurisdiction of the court. (f) Alternative to Service by Publication. In circumstances justifying service by publication, if the serving party files an affidavit stating facts from which the court determines that service by mail is just as likely to give actual notice as service by publication, the court may order that service be made by any person over 18 years of age, who is competent to be a witness, other than a party, by mailing copies of the summons and other process to the party to be served at his last known address or any other address determined by the court to be appropriate. Two copies shall be mailed, postage prepaid, one by ordinary first class mail and the other by a form of mail requiring a signed receipt showing when and to whom it was delivered. The envelopes must bear the return address of the sender. The summons shall contain the date it was deposited in the mail and shall require the defendant to appear and answer the complaint within 90 days from the date of mailing. Service under this subsection has the same jurisdictional effect as service by publication. (g) Appearance. A voluntary appearance of a defendant does not preclude his right to challenge lack of jurisdiction over his person, insufficiency of process, or insufficiency of service of process pursuant to rule 12(b). (h) Territorial Limits of Effective Service. All process other than a subpoena may be served anywhere within the territorial limits of the state, and when a statute or these rules so provide beyond the territorial limits of the state. A subpoena may be served within the territorial limits provided in rule 45 and RCW 5.56.010. (i) Return of Service. Proof of service shall be as follows: (1) If served by the sheriff or his deputy, the return of the sheriff or his deputy endorsed upon or attached to the summons; (2) If served by any other person, his affidavit of service endorsed upon or attached to the summons; or (3) If served by publication, the affidavit of the publisher, foreman, principal clerk, or business manager of the newspaper showing the same, together with a printed copy of the summons as published; or (4) If served as provided in section (f), the affidavit of the serving party stating that copies of the summons and other process were sent by mail in accordance with the rule and directions by the court, and stating to whom, and when, the envelopes were mailed; (5) The written acceptance or admission of the defendant, his agent or attorney; (6) In case of personal service out of the state, the affidavit of the person making the service, sworn to before a notary public, with a seal attached, or before a clerk of a court of record; (7) In case of service otherwise than by publication, the return, acceptance, admission, or affidavit must state the time, place, and manner of service. Failure to make proof of service does not affect the validity of the service. (j) Amendment of Process. 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 is issued. [Amended effective September 1, 1994; September 1, 1996; September 1, 2000.]
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