For those who regularly reference O’Connor’s Civil Trials in issues regarding service of process, I offer the following caveat: In Chapter 2, H. Serving Defendant, page 132, the authors have mistakenly imported language from Rule 14.3 (c) of the Texas Rules of Judicial Administration. The stated methods of service in fact apply only to service of notice upon process servers in disciplinary actions pending before the Process Server Review Board, not to service upon a defendant in a civil action as represented. Approved methods of service can be found in Rule 106 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. Additional service methods addressing specific circumstances can be found in the Texas Business Organizations Code, and the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
As process servers, most of us will occasionally find ourselves in possession of a citation or writ of which service may appear problematic. When you find yourself in this situation, it may be a good idea to do a bit of research. If in doing so you discover a rule or statute that addresses the particular circumstance, share your findings with your client. Throughout the years, it has been my experience that most attorneys appreciate that level of concern and initiative, and- more often than not- will further investigate your findings before proceeding with service.
Proper service being the single most critical element in the commencement of any lawsuit, it is advisable that process servers refer to and rely only on rules and statutes as authored by the governing body and adopted by the Texas Supreme Court.