AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR AN ELECTION BY THE PLAINTIFF TO UTILIZE A PRIVATE PROCESS SERVER IN COUNTIES WITH POPULATIONS OF TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND OR GREATER.
Identical to S 507, filed 4/2/19.
Amends GS 42-28, regarding summons for summary ejectment issued by the clerk of superior court. Provides for the plaintiff to elect to have the clerk return the summons to the plaintiff or forward the summons to the sheriff for service. Limits the election to counties with 250,000 or more residents as of the most recent decennial federal census. Authorizes the plaintiff to extend the action pursuant to GS 1A-1, Rule 4(d), if the magistrate severs the claim for monetary damages pursuant to GS 7A-223(b1) (concerning where personal service was not achieved for one or more defendants).
Amends GS 42-29 regarding service of summons for summary ejectment. Applicable only to service for summary ejectment proceedings in counties with 250,000 or more residents as of the most recent decennial federal census, authorizes a process server to effectuate proper service upon the defendant for summary ejectment by mailing a copy of the issued summons and signed complaint to the defendant no later than the end of the business day of the next business day after receipt of the summons and complaint, or as soon as practicable at the defendant's last known address in a stamped addressed envelope provided by the plaintiff. Also requires the process server to then deliver a copy of the summons and the complaint to the defendant by affixing the copies to some conspicuous part of the premises claimed and making due return showing compliance with the provisions in the form of an affidavit of service setting forth the time, place, and manner of service in compliance with the provision. Defines process server to mean any person over the age of 21 years who is not a party to the action, who is not related by blood or marriage to a party to the action or to a person to whom service is to be made, and who is hired by the plaintiff or the plaintiff's agent or attorney for the purpose of serving the summons and complaint for summary ejectment. Defines officer to mean the sheriff of the county where the subject premises is situated. Clarifies that the definitions given apply to the article only with respect to service for summary ejectment proceedings in counties with 250,000 or more residents as of the most recent decennial federal census.
Applies to actions for summary ejectment filed on or after October 1, 2019.