340:25-3-3. Service of process
(a) Authority. Oklahoma Human Services Child Support Services (CSS) follows the provisions of Section 2004 of Title 12 of the Oklahoma Statutes (12 O.S. § 2004) for service of process. CSS uses the most cost effective and efficient method of service of process depending on what is most appropriate under the facts of the case. • 1
(b) Service by regular mail to address of record (AOR). Service to the AOR by regular mail may be appropriate when an AOR is on file with the Central Case Registry for a party in the case, per Oklahoma Administrative Code 340:25-5-340. ¢ 3 through 5 Service to the AOR is not appropriate when the:
(1) remedy sought may result in the obligor's incarceration including, but not limited to, indirect civil contempt actions; or
(2) court may require a higher level of notice to the affected party including, but not limited to, actions to determine paternity.
(c) Service by acknowledgment. CSS delivers the documents directly to a party and requests the party accepts and acknowledges service, as appropriate. The Acknowledgment of Service is filed in the court case. • 2
(d) Service by certified mail. Service is made by certified mail, return receipt requested, and delivery restricted to the addressee. CSS uses service by certified mail when service to the AOR or by Acknowledgment of Service is not appropriate or successful. CSS staff is not required to attempt service by certified mail before attempting personal service when the case history indicates a low probability of acceptance or the court requires personal service. • 6
(e) Service by personal delivery. Service by personal delivery is completed by a sheriff, deputy sheriff, individual licensed to make service of process in civil cases, or an individual specially appointed for that purpose, per 12 O.S. § 2004. CSS uses service by personal delivery when:
(1) an individual has not accepted service by certified mail;
(2) service to the AOR or by acknowledgment is not available or appropriate;
(3) case history indicates a low probability of acceptance of service by certified mail; or
(4) the court requires service by personal delivery. • 7
(f) Diligent efforts. When CSS contracts with vendors for service of process, the vendor must make diligent efforts to complete service and provide timely documentation to CSS. Diligent efforts means at least three-repeated attempts to serve the individual, at different times of day or on different days of the week, before declaring inability to serve. CSS:
(1) attempts to serve process in the manner, at the time, and place most reasonably calculated to complete service of process in the most efficient and cost effective manner;
(2) makes diligent efforts to serve process utilizing all information:
(A) provided by CSS staff;
(B) documented in the case record; or
(C) gathered from other locate resources;
(3) provides address and employer information to the process server;
(4) attempts to serve the person at:
(B) home; or
(C) other locations based on information gathered on his or her lifestyle; and
(5) documents all facts about attempts to serve process in the case record. • 8
(g) Minor noncustodial parent. CSS serves a minor noncustodial parent (NCP) who is:
(1) 15 years of age and older, per 12 O.S. § 2004; or
(2) younger than 15 years of age, through a parent, guardian, or other appropriate adult as the next friend of the minor NCP.
(h) Subsequent electronic service. A Notice of Consent to Electronic Service or recognized substitute must be completed by a party or party's attorney and filed with the court, in accordance with 12 O.S. § 2005(B), and applies to an individual court action. Pleadings asserting new or additional claims require a new Notice of Consent to Electronic Service.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:25-3-3
1. (a) Unless there is a family violence indicator on the case, upon request, Oklahoma Human Services Child Support Services (CSS) staff provides legal documents with an instructional cover letter for a customer to serve on the other party by a process server, hired by a customer. The customer must return an Affidavit of Service signed by the process server to CSS for filing in the court action.
(b) When a party appears for hearing without being served, CSS staff provides copies of the legal documents to the party and has the party sign an Acknowledgment of Receipt that CSS files with the court.
(c) CSS staff updates the automated Oklahoma Support Information System (OSIS) Case Log Add (CSLOGA) and Document Service Update (DOCSU) screens with the date of the Acknowledgment of Receipt or Affidavit of Service.
(d) CSS does not release locate information to a customer for the purpose of service by private process server, except for a request for release of an Address of Record (AOR), per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:25‑5‑340.1.
2. CSS staff may use service by acknowledgment to serve documents on an incarcerated party.
3. (a) The AOR is case-specific unless the custodial person or noncustodial parent has designated otherwise. CSS cannot use the AOR on file in one case for the party's other cases.
(b) A party may designate different AORs for different cases.
(c) CSS staff reviews the caselog and physical file to determine if a case has a current AOR.
5. When CSS is serving a party by regular mail to the AOR, CSS staff:
(1) sends copies of all the pleadings and orders being served to the AOR and any other current address; and
(2) does not include non-AOR addresses on the pleadings, orders, or certificates of service.
6. Parties who refuse to accept service by certified mail are considered properly served and a default order may be entered. When service is refused, CSS staff:
(1) upon receipt of the proof showing the service was refused, and at least 10-calendar days before obtaining a default order, sends the legal documents to the party by regular mail with a Notice of Default After Refusal of Service (GN16). The Notice of Default After Refusal of Service notifies the party that despite the refusal, legal action will proceed and a default order will be entered unless the party appears for hearing;
(2) files the Affidavit of Service and attaches the envelope showing it was refused. The Affidavit of Service must show the date and place of any subsequent mailing; and
(3) files a copy of the Notice of Default After Refusal of Service with the court.
7. Examples of situations where personal service is appropriate include, when the:
(1) party to be served is scheduled to appear in court on another matter;
(2) party's employment necessitates frequent travel;
(3) party cannot be served by mail or at home; or
(4) party's employment address is the only available service location.
8. CSS staff updates the OSIS CSLOGA and DOCSU screens with all service attempts and completed service.