Policies and Procedures

Substitute Service Rules: MD State Image

  • Substitute service may be performed on a recipient that is both a co-resident to the defendant AND at least 14 years of age. Do not perform substitute service until you have verbal confirmation of all of the above criteria. If the co-resident who accepted the documents is 14 years of age please do not use the selection "14 and under". List their exact age and how it was confirmed in your service notes. 
  • Prince George and DC counties do not allow Jane/John Doe substitute service. You must have the first and last name of the recipient.

Timeline for Service:

The state of Maryland requires that service documents be delivered in a very short window, and by the time they are in the servers hands there are normally only a few weeks left. It is therefore important that ALL jobs be attempted within 48 hours of receipt and that subsequent attempts be made within 48 hours of each other. Attempts for RUSH orders must be made with 24 hours of each other.

Motion for Alternate Service/Posting:

Under certain circumstances, the courts will approve the posting of the documents at the servee's residence. Filing a motion for alternative service for posting is a process initiated by ABC Legal, and the order in ABC Mobile will be under the instruction "Hold attempts. Motion for Alternative Service In Progress." during that time. 

Once the motion is approved the order will be under "Granted motion for alternate service".


For a motion for alternate service to be possible, diligent attempts must have been completed and ABC Legal must be able to confirm that the servee resides at this address. It always helps if you can confirm residency with a neighbor, by taking a picture of a package with the servee's name, and snagging pictures of license plates.

Once the Order has Been Granted

  • Print the new service documents along with the Order Granting Alternate Service.
  • Knock on the door one last time, as Personal Service is always allowed.
  • Post the documents and Order Granting Alternate Service by affixing the documents to the door.

Unique Pay Scale

To prevent having to wait on the court getting back to us to be able to pay you for your efforts, ABC Legal pays out half of the resolution for completion the moment we file for a motion for alternate service. The other half comes once we get the Proof of Service processed in our office. 

See also: Substitute Service and Other Types of Service