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Federal Practice Series Episode 2: Serving Process in Federal Court

By: Meighan Burton

Once a plaintiff has filed her complaint in federal court, the next step is to request a Writ of Summons for each defendant named in the complaint, and then serve each Writ, along with a copy of the complaint (the “process”), on the named defendant.  Unless and until the defendant is served, the case cannot proceed and eventually will be dismissed by the court. Thus, effective service of process is an essential part of initiating legal proceedings.