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What are the civil service rules requirements for alternative service?

Sugar Land, TX |

I have hired a process service company to serve my ex-wife with a court order for an enforcement motion for child visitation. She has avoided service. We requested an alternative service order (including an affidavit from the service company), which was denied by the judge because our request didn't meet the required rules of civil procedure.

What are the specific requirements for alternative service?

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Attorney answers 3


You have to make a good faith attempt to locate your spouse and to verify that she resides where you believe she does. This may include checking with the post office, interviewing friends and neighbors and checking other sources. If you have done that, you can file an affidavit of diligent inquiry with the court requesting alternate forms of service.
Here is a link to a form affidavit that you would need to file:

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.


You must read the rules of civil procedure. You will need at least one affidavit from the person who attempted service. Look at Rule 106a. One problem is using alternative service for an enforcement proceeding which is a quasi-criminal proceeding. I suggest getting an attorney involved. Not only are there certain requirements for pleading in an enforcement proceeding, there are also some tricks to proving the motion. If you can't figure out how to get her served, you won't figure out how to get her held in contempt.

I am not intending this to be legal advice, because I don't know the particulars of your situation. Call me if you would like to discuss this or other isues.

William Tyler Moore Jr

William Tyler Moore Jr


Call me Monday if you want to discuss this.


Before you can do anything to have the Court enforce any order, it is essential that the Court be satisfied that your ex was actually served with the documents that the Rules require. I am not certain about Texas, but the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure that governs this issue is Rule 5, and most states (including NC) follow it, at least generally. I agree that hiring -- or at the very least consulting -- a competent attorney experienced in this area would be essential for you.

MIKE DAISLEY is a licensed attorney in the State of NORTH CAROLINA. The response herein is NOT formal legal advice and is NOT intended to address the full specifics of the question posed. The above response is in the form of general legal education and is intended to provide only basic information. Questions often leave out critical facts which could significantly change the reply. ALL READERS ARE STRONGLY ADVISED to confer with a competent and experienced attorney to get a more complete answer.

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