The above section of the proof of service form is titled “by mail and acknowledgment of receipt of service.” I’m confused as to how this applies to an address out of state. Option 3 on the form requires two copies of the acknowledgment form be sent by first-class mail. Option 4, to an address outside California requires return receipt requested. Questions: (1) does a notice of acknowledgment need to be sent with option 4? (2) can option 3 be used for out of state? That is, using the acknowledgment forms, sent by first class mail, but without return receipt requested? Section 5.c. of the form is confusing because it is titled “mail and acknowledgment of receipt of service” which makes it look like BOTH options 3 and 4 require that the acknowledgment notice be included. However, that would make the options different only insofar as the form of mailing, that is, with or without return receipt requested.
Option 3 and 4 serve two distinct functions but can be used in tandem.
Option 3: The notice and acknowledgement of receipt is used for service on a party when they are willing to accept service or to recoup your costs for service of process later. This is because if you serve the notice and acknowledgment of receipt and they sign and mail it back to you the other party has been served. If the other side refuses to sign a notice and acknowledgement of receipt, and you have the track them down for personal service, the court will in theory order those costs spent tracking them down reimbursed to you.
Option 4: As a opposed to option 3, option 4 is a flat out way to serve someone. Specifically, if the opposing party is out of state, then, by signing the return receipt for the complaint, summons and accompanying papers, that party has been served (they need not sign a notice and acknowledgment of receipt and send it back). However, if you send only by return receipt for service on an out of state and they do not sign it, and you have to track them down to serve them, then you will not be able to recover costs as you would under Option 3.
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