Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 8. Process
11/30/2022

Article 1. In General.

§ 8.01-285. Definition of certain terms for purposes of this chapter; process, return, statutory agent.

For the purposes of this chapter:

1. The term "process" shall be deemed to include notice;

2. The term "return" shall be deemed to include the term "proof of service";

3. The term "statutory agent" means the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and the successors of either, when appointed pursuant to law for the purpose of service of process on the nonresident defined in subdivision 2 of § 8.01-307; and

4. The term "person" includes an individual, his executor, administrator, or other personal representative, or a corporation, partnership, association or any other legal or commercial entity, whether or not a citizen or domiciliary of the Commonwealth and whether or not organized under the laws of the Commonwealth.

1977, c. 617; 1991, c. 672; 2005, c. 866.

§ 8.01-286. Forms of writs.

Subject to the provisions of § 8.01-3, the Supreme Court may prescribe the forms of writs, and where no such prescription is made, the forms of writs shall be the same as heretofore used.

Code 1950, § 8-43; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-286.1. Service of process; waiver, duty to save costs, request to waive, how served.

A. In an action pending in general district court or circuit court, the plaintiff may notify a defendant of the commencement of the action and request that the defendant waive service of process as provided in subsection B. Any person subject to service as set forth in § 8.01-296, 8.01-299, §§ 8.01-301 through 8.01-306 or § 8.01-320, with the exception of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission, who receives actual notice of an action in the manner provided in this section, has a duty to avoid any unnecessary costs of serving process.

B. The notice and request shall incorporate the request for waiver and shall:

1. Be in writing and shall be addressed directly to the defendant, if an individual, or else to an officer, director or registered agent authorized by appointment or law to receive service of process of a defendant subject to service under § 8.01-299, §§ 8.01-301 through 8.01-306 or § 8.01-320;

2. Be dispatched through first-class mail or other reliable means;

3. Be accompanied by a copy of the motion for judgment, bill of complaint or other such initial pleading and identify the court in which it has been filed;

4. Inform the defendant, by means of a form provided by Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court, of the consequences of compliance and failure to comply with the request;

5. Set forth the date on which the request is sent;

6. Allow the defendant a reasonable time to return the waiver, which shall be no more than 30 days from the date on which the request is sent, or 60 days from that date if the defendant's address is outside the Commonwealth; and

7. Provide the defendant with an extra copy of the notice and request, as well as a prepaid means of compliance in writing.

If a defendant fails to comply with a request for waiver made by a plaintiff, the court shall impose the costs subsequently incurred in effecting service on the defendant unless good cause for the failure is shown.

C. A defendant that, before being served with process, timely returns a waiver so requested is not required to serve a grounds of defense or other responsive pleading to the motion for judgment or other initial pleading until 60 days after the date on which the request for waiver of service was sent, or 90 days after that date if the defendant's address was outside the Commonwealth.

D. When the plaintiff files a waiver of service with the court, the action shall proceed as if a notice and motion for judgment or other initial pleading had been served at the time of filing the waiver, and no proof of service shall be required.

E. The costs to be imposed on a defendant for failure to comply with a request to waive service of a summons shall include the costs subsequently incurred in effecting service under § 8.01-299, §§ 8.01-301 through 8.01-306 or § 8.01-320, together with the costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, of any motion required to collect the costs of service. This provision does not apply to the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Secretary of the Commonwealth or the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission.

F. A defendant who waives service of process pursuant to this section does not thereby waive any objection to the venue or to the jurisdiction of the court over the person of that defendant, or to any other defense or objection other than objections based on inadequacy of process or service of process.

2005, c. 866; 2011, c. 766.

§ 8.01-287. How process to be served.

Upon commencement of an action, process shall be served in the manner set forth in this chapter and by the Rules of the Supreme Court.

Code 1950, § 8-56; 1952, c. 77; 1954, c. 543; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-288. Process received in time good though neither served nor accepted.

Except for process commencing actions for divorce or annulment of marriage or other actions wherein service of process is specifically prescribed by statute, process which has reached the person to whom it is directed within the time prescribed by law, if any, shall be sufficient although not served or accepted as provided in this chapter.

Code 1950, § 8-53; 1977, c. 617; 1987, c. 594; 1988, c. 583.

§ 8.01-289. No service of process on Sunday; exceptions.

No civil process shall be served on Sunday, except in cases of persons escaping out of custody, or where it is otherwise expressly provided by law.

Code 1950, § 8-4.2; 1977, c. 617.