Service of Process
Process Receipt and Return
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SERVICE OF PROCESS BY U.S.
Interested parties should contact the
appropriate local U.S. Marshals Service
District office to determine if PDF versions of the form are
accepted for the service of process.
- The Form
USM-285 is a five-copy form set designed as a control document
for process served by a U.S. Marshal or designee. Process may
include, but is not limited to, a summons and complaint, subpoena,
writ, or court order. The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is
authorized by law (28 U.S.C. 1921) to charge fees for the service of
process. The amount of fees charged is established by regulation (28
C.F.R. 0.114). Except in cases where the litigant has been granted
permission by the court for waiver of prepayment of fees and costs,
the USMS must request advance payment of the estimated fees and
expenses for service of process.
- Please type or print legibly.
Submit one copy of the Form USM-285 and one copy of each process
for each individual, company, corporation, government agency,
etc., to be served or property to be seized.
- In cases where the court has
directed the USMS to effect service of a summons and
complaint upon an officer or agent of the United States
Government, submit a copy of the summons and complaint and
Form USM-285 for each officer or agent upon whom service is
desired. Submit two (2) additional copies of the summons and
complaint for service upon the Government of the United
States. The U.S. Marshal or designee will serve one copy
upon the U.S. Attorney and will forward the other copy to
the Attorney General of the United States. (When the
applicable box is checked, completion of the final signature
block by the U.S. Marshal or designee certifies service on
the U.S. Attorney and the U.S. Attorney General, regardless
of whether other
defendants on the summons were served). Failure to provide
sufficient copies will delay service of the summons.
- Mark all applicable
check boxes and use the "Special Instructions" to advise
of any information that will assist the USMS in
expediting service. You are responsible for providing
accurate and sufficient information that will identify
the individual or entity to be served or the property to
- If more than one
item of process and Form
USM-285 is submitted on a single case, the U.S.
Marshal or designee will receipt for all of them on
the first Form USM-285. You will receive for your
records the "Acknowledgment of Receipt" copy for all
the USM-285 forms you submit. When the process is
served, you will receive the "Notice of Service"
copy. This copy will be identical to the return to
the Clerk of the U.S. District Court.
- Upon completion
of all services, you will receive a "Billing
Statement" copy of Form USM-285. You should
return this "Billing Statement" copy to the USMS,
together with your payment, in the form of a
certified or bank check payable to the U.S.
Marshal, for any amounts still owed.
Alternatively, the USMS will accept cash. The
USMS will not accept personal checks.
Note: The information related to the service of
court process that is contained on this web site is general information
and not intended to be an exhaustive or definitive explanation or depiction
of Federal rules of procedures for the service of process.
Readers are directed to the Federal Rules of Criminal and
Civil Procedure; personal legal counsel; the United States Code, Titles 18 and 28;
U.S. Attorney's Office and District Court for
specific, authoritative guidance.
Form USM - 285
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