Does the court serve the legal papers on the other person?
No. You are responsible for making sure the other party is served with any papers you file.
How do I serve the legal papers on the other person?
The way you serve the documents depends on the kind of documents you are filing.
If you are filing papers to open a case (usually a summons and complaint), the other party must be personally served with the papers. However, you cannot serve the other party. Someone over 18 who is not a party to the case and not interested in the outcome of the case must personally serve the papers and fill out an Affidavit of Service stating when, where, and what was served.
Generally, all papers filed after that can be sent to the other party by regular mail (there are exceptions). You are allowed to mail the papers yourself.
How do I serve the summons and complaint if I don't know where the other party lives?
The Defendant must be personally served with a copy of the summons and complaint. The Defendant does not have to be served at home; they can be served anywhere. If you know where the person works, visits, etc., give that information to your process server so they can serve the Defendant.
If you do not know anyplace where the Defendant can be found, you must do a good faith search to try and find the person. This means checking with friends, family members, looking online, etc., to try and find the person. If you still cannot find the person after doing the search, you can ask the judge for permission to serve the Defendant by mailing a copy of the summons and complaint to the last known address and also publishing the summons in a newspaper. You will have to fill out some forms listing everything that was done to try and find the Defendant, and it will be up to the judge whether to allow you to publish a notice instead of having them served.
I am filing a motion to re-open an old case, but the other party moved and I don't know where she lives. Where do I serve her?
Whenever you move, you are required to update your address with the court by filing a Change of Address form (this can be found on the Miscellaneous Forms page).
If the other party moved and did not update their address with the court, the judge usually expects you to serve the other party at the address that the court has on record for the party, PLUS any other addresses where you think the person can be found.