2. Someone other than the sheriff serves your papers

After you get a court date, you must have someone give a copy of your court papers to the other side. This is called serving papers. A sheriff or marshal can do it for free, but you can also choose someone else to serve for youServing the papers lets the other side know that you are asking to renew the gun violence restraining order.

Before you start

It’s important to have the other side served as soon as possible. Service can be a hard step to complete and make take multiple tries.

How to have someone serve your papers

  • Choose your server

    If you want someone you know to serve your papers, they must be:

    • 18 years old or older, and
    • Not part of your case (example: Your server cannot be someone who is protected by the restraining order).

    You cannot serve your papers yourself. You can also hire a professional process server or have the sheriff serve your court papers for free. 

    Think about your server's safety. If it might be dangerous for your server to hand papers to the other side, consider asking the sheriff to serve.

  • Know your deadline to serve

    Your server must deliver your papers by a deadline before your court date (hearingdate).   

    To see when your deadline for service is, look at item 4 on form GV-710.

    You can always serve before the deadline. 

    The judge cannot renew your orders without service. At your court date (see form GV-710, item 3), you will need to ask the judge for more time to serve the other side.
  • Give your server your court papers

    You will need to give your server copies of the following forms to deliver:

    • Request to Renew Restraining Order (form GV-700), including a copy of your restraining order (form GV-130)
    • Notice of Hearing to Renew Restraining Order (form GV-710)
    • A blank Response to Request to Renew Restraining Order  (form GV-720) (for the restrained person to complete).

    You will also need to give your server form GV-200 for your server to complete (not deliver). For form GV-200:

    • You should fill out items 1 and 2 of the form.
    • Your server will complete the rest of the form.
  • Server delivers the papers

    Once you have given your server a copy of your court papers and form GV-200, ask your server to:

    1. Hand the court papers to the restrained person
    2. Complete form GV-200
    3. Return a completed copy of form GV-200 to you so you can file it with the court clerk

    The server can leave the papers near the person and tell them what they are. For example, the server sets the papers down near them and says, "These are important legal papers for you." 

  • Copy and file Proof of Service (form GV-200)

    Once you get the Proof of Service form back from your server:

    1. Make at least 1 copy
    2. Take the original and the copies to the court clerk. The clerk will file the original. The clerk will also stamp and return the copies to you. The copies are for you to keep.
    3. Keep a copy of the Proof of Service and a copy of your restraining order with you at all times.  Make sure you bring them to your court date too.

What's next?

Once you’ve served your request, you'll attend and follow up from your court hearing.

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