Service of Process
U.S. Marshals Form
285 - Process Receipt and Return
For the service of any process, this form is
utilized by the U.S. Marshals Service and Federal Court. One
complete set of this form (USM-285) and one copy of each writ for each
individual, company, corporation, etc., to be served or property to be
seized or condemned must be submitted. The applicable fees for
such service(s) (T28, USC Sec. 1921 establishes the fees for service of
process by the U.S. Marshal) may be required prior to said service.
For service upon an officer or agent of the United States Government,
see additional directions contained with the PDF version of the form.
Historically, the U.S. Marshals Service has taken responsibility for serving most Federal
court criminal process. However, the courts
have become more receptive to other law enforcement personnel serving
criminal process. For more specific information
on types of criminal process served.
The USMS is primarily
responsible for the service of civil process (except for a summons and
complaint or subpoena unless directed to do so by the federal court).
If service of civil process can more easily be
effected by someone other than USMS personnel,
the court or the U.S. Attorney may
appoint or approve an alternative server. For
more specific information on types of civil process served.
The USMS is
responsible for service of foreign process as assigned by the Civil
Division, Office of Foreign Litigation (OFL), Department of Justice.
U.S. Marshals are not authorized to travel to foreign countries to
deliver subpoenas in either criminal or civil cases.
For more specific information.
USM-94, Request for
Service Abroad of Judicial or Extrajudicial Documents
is a form, accompanying American judicial process, that is recognized by
the Central Authorities of many of the foreign countries who are
signators to the Hague Service Convention. The form itself is no longer
completed by the U.S. Marshals Service, but by the private litigant who
wishes to effect service in a foreign country pursuant to the Hague
Convention. More information and
instructions on completing the form. For Spanish version of
USM-94, use USM-272A
USM-272, Request for
Service Abroad of Judicial or Extrajudicial Documents Pursuant to the
Additional Protocol to the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory |
The USMS is responsible for
conducting sales under writ of execution, judicial sales, judicial
foreclosure sales, and forfeited or condemned property.
The U.S. Marshals, by
carrying out federal court orders, becomes involved in admiralty matters
of two types: actions that enforce maritime liens or actions against a
person or persons. The U.S. Marshal can be directed by a warrant
or writ to arrest, attach, or garnishee the vessel, property, or cargo
and to hold it pending further order of the court.
For more specific information
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.