Serving Legal Documents on a Military Base

Before initiating service, you need to identify the service of process procedures mandated by the military base.

Serving legal documents on a military installation comes with unique challenges due to strict access policies. Understanding the procedures is a crucial step to take before placing your order.

Connecting with On-Site Authorities

Coordination with on-site military police and following installation-specific procedures is crucial. The installation’s legal office can provide information regarding a particular installation's procedure. Usually, either the Provost Marshall or the installation’s law enforcement will assist with service. 

Federal Jurisdiction and Service Requirements

The accessibility of a military installation for a process server is contingent on federal jurisdiction, typically allowing states to serve legal documents on federally acquired land, including military bases. In cases of concurrent jurisdiction, the installation is not compelled to permit service unless the lawsuit originates from the same state.

However, even with granted access, the process server is directed to coordinate a meeting with the service member at an agreed-upon place and time, though their attendance is not obligatory.

Commander's Role in Civil Process Acceptance

For installations, in cases where states retain the right to serve civil process, commanders play a role in determining the member's acceptance. 

As an example, North Carolina army regulations require that commanders determine if the service member wishes to accept the process service, if the latter declines, the requesting party is allowed to serve the process following applicable state law, subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by the commander.

Service by Mail

Numerous enforcement actions don't mandate personal service. If permitted by the forum state's law, opt for service by mail using a first-class, certified, or registered letter with a return receipt requested, tailoring the choice to legal requirements. The presence of post offices in military facilities and naval craft facilitates secure and traceable "return receipt requested" service.

Placing Your Order

Once you've gathered all the necessary information, and if requirements permit, you may proceed to place your order. Please remember to include detailed notes in the "Helpful Notes" section when providing party information. This will assist us in handling your case diligently and guiding our process server effectively during their service attempts.


To find out more about placing an order and navigating your ABC Legal account, please visit our customer resource page.