Service of Process Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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The West Virginia Secretary of State is appointed by law to serve legal process by certified mail on certain defendants. These defendants include a variety of business types, insurance companies, out-of-state individuals who can be served under the long-arm statute, state government agencies, and some special categories. Employers of individuals whose wages are being garnished through suggestee execution are also served. See Service by Secretary of State for more information on which defendants can be served.

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Many defendants cannot be served through the Secretary of State. Individual residents of West Virginia, businesses which are sole proprietorships or partnerships, county and municipal governments and local agencies, and some other categories are served personally, often through the county sheriff. See Other Types of Service for more information on alternative service.

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Correct filing is vital for providing prompt service of process. For information about filing procedures, forms, fees and payment methods, our mailing address, and other information, see Filing Procedures.

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To review the text of the West Virginia Code and the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure that apply to service of process through the Secretary of State, see WV Code and Rules.

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For a roster containing the names and addresses of clerks of federal, state, circuit and magistrate clerks, and the telephone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail addresses where available, see Contacts and Courts.

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To check the status of service, please go to Status Check.

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If we may be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us:  304.558.8000   toll free 866.767.8683  email:   Process@wvsos.gov