Legal Notice

At common law, notice is the fundamental principle in service of process. In this case, the service of the process puts the defendant "on notice" of the allegations contained within the complaint, or another such pleading. Since notice is fundamental, a court may rule a pleading defective if it does not put the defendant on notice.

In a civil case, personal jurisdiction over a defendant is obtained by service of a summons. Service can be accomplished by personal delivery of the summons or subpoena to the person or an authorized agent of the person. Service may also be made by substituted means; for example, in many jurisdictions, service of a summons can be made on a person of suitable age and discretion at the residence or place of business of the defendant. Jurisdiction over corporations can often be obtained through a government body authorized to receive such process.