A. The following persons are authorized to serve process:
1. The sheriff within such territorial bounds as described in § 8.01-295;
2. Any person of age 18 years or older and who is not a party or otherwise interested in the subject matter in controversy. However, in any case in which custody or visitation of a minor child or children is at issue and a summons is issued for the attendance and testimony of a teacher or other school personnel who is not a party to the proceeding, if such summons is served on school property, it shall be served only by a sheriff or his deputy; or
3. A private process server. For purposes of this section, "private process server" means any person 18 years of age or older and who is not a party or otherwise interested in the subject matter in controversy, and who charges a fee for service of process.
Whenever in this Code the term "officer" or "sheriff" is used to refer to persons authorized to make, return or do any other act relating to service of process, such term shall be deemed to refer to any person authorized by this section to serve process.
B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law (i) only a sheriff or high constable may execute an order or writ of possession for personal, real or mixed property, including an order or writ of possession arising out of an action in unlawful entry and detainer or ejectment; (ii) any sheriff, high constable or law-enforcement officer as defined in § 9.1-101 of the Code of Virginia may serve any capias or show cause order; and (iii) only a sheriff, the high constable for the City of Norfolk or Virginia Beach or a treasurer may levy upon property.
Code 1950, §§ 8-52, 8-54; 1954, c. 543; 1960, c. 16; 1968, c. 484; 1977, c. 617; 1981, c. 110; 1986, c. 275; 1996, cc. 501, 608; 1997, c. 820; 2002, c. 342; 2004, cc. 210, 588; 2011, c. 766.
The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.