ELC 4.1 SERVICE OF PAPERS (a) Service Required. Every pleading, every paper relating to discovery, every written request or motion other than one which may be heard ex parte, and every similar paper or document issued by disciplinary counsel or the respondent lawyer under these rules must be served on the opposing party. If a hearing is pending and a hearing officer has been assigned, except for discovery, the party also must serve a copy on the hearing officer or panel chair or, if required by these rules, on each member of a hearing panel. (b) Methods of Service. (1) Service by Mail. (A) Unless personal service is required or these rules specifically provide otherwise, service may be accomplished by postage prepaid mail. If properly made, service by mail is deemed accomplished on the date of mailing and is effective regardless of whether the person to whom it is addressed actually receives it. (B) Except as provided below, service by mail must be by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested. Service may be by first class mail if: (i) the parties so agree; (ii) the document is a notice of dismissal by disciplinary counsel or by a review committee under rule 5.6, a notice regarding deferral under rule 5.3(c), or a request for review of any of these notices; (iii) one or more properly made certified mailings is returned as unclaimed; or (iv) service is on a hearing officer or panel. (C) The address for service by mail is as follows: (i) for the respondent, or his or her attorney of record, the address in the answer, a notice of appearance, or any subsequent document filed by the respondent or his or her attorney; or, in the absence of an answer, the respondent’s address on file with the Association; (ii) for disciplinary counsel, at the address of the Association or other address that disciplinary counsel requests. (2) Service by Delivery. If service by mail is permitted, service may instead be accomplished by leaving the document at the address for service by mail. (3) Personal Service. Personal service on a respondent is accomplished as follows: (A) if the respondent is found in Washington State, by personal service in the manner required for personal service of a summons in a civil action in the superior court; (B) if the respondent cannot be found in Washington State, service may be made either by: (i) leaving a copy at the respondent’s place of usual abode in Washington State with a person of suitable age and discretion then resident therein; or (ii) mailing by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, a copy addressed to the respondent at his or her last known place of abode, office address maintained for the practice of law, post office address, or address on file with the Association. (C) if the respondent is found outside of Washington State, then by the methods of service described in (A) or (B) above. (c) Service Where Question of Mental Competence. If a guardian or guardian ad litem has been appointed for a respondent who has been judicially declared to be of unsound mind or incapable of conducting his or her own affairs, service under sections (a) and (b) above must also be made on the guardian or guardian ad litem. (d) Proof of Service. If personal service is required, proof of service may be made by affidavit of service, sheriff's return of service, or a signed acknowledgment of service. In other cases, proof of service may also be made by certificate of a lawyer similar to that allowed by CR 5(b)(2)(B), which certificate must state the form of mail used. Proof of service in all cases must be filed but need not be served on the opposing party. [Adopted effective October 1, 2002.]
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