CHAPTER 14. PROCESS
§3471. Supplementary rules of service of process
The following rules supplement those governing the service of citation and other legal process in a civil action or proceeding contained in the Code of Civil Procedure:
(1)(a) If the foreign corporation or the foreign limited liability company is not one required by law to appoint an agent for the service of process, but has engaged in a business activity in this state, service of process in an action or proceeding on a cause of action resulting from such business activity in this state, or for any taxes due or other obligations arising therefrom, may be made on any employee or agent of the corporation or limited liability company of suitable age and discretion found in the state.
(b) If such employees or agents are no longer in the state, or cannot be found after diligent effort, the officer charged with the duty of making the service shall make his return to the court, stating the efforts made by him to secure service and the reason why he was unable to do so. Thereupon the court shall order that service shall be made on the secretary of state, or on some other individual in his office whom the secretary of state may designate to receive service of process.
(c) The secretary of state shall ascertain the domiciliary post office address of the corporation, or limited liability company and shall send the original papers served to the corporation or limited liability company by registered or certified mail, or by commercial courier as defined in R.S. 13:3204(D), when the corporation or person to be served is located outside of this state. The secretary of state shall retain in his office true copies of these papers, on which he shall note the date, the manner and other particulars of the service, and of the disposition made of the original papers.
(2) In an action or proceeding brought in a parish other than that of the domicile of a defendant, citation and all other legal process may be served on this defendant in the parish where the action or proceeding was brought, if the defendant can be served therein. Otherwise, the process may be sent by the clerk of the court from which it issued to any parish where the defendant may be found, and service may be made by the sheriff or a constable of the latter parish.
(3) When an action or proceeding is brought in the parish of the domicile of a defendant, and the latter is absent therefrom, service may be made on him in any parish of the state where he may be found.
(4) An acceptance of service shall be dated, and if no date is shown thereon, the acceptance takes effect from the date of its filing in court. No acceptance of service shall affect the delays allowed by law or by the local rules of court.
(5) The return of the serving officer on any citation or other legal process is conclusive, unless directly attacked. Such an attack may be made by rule in the action or proceeding, if made prior to judgment. If made after judgment, the return may be attacked only in a direct action to annul the judgment, which may be brought in the original action or proceeding.
If the defendant was actually served, the court may correct an error in the return by an amendment thereof, on a rule brought against and tried contradictorily with the defendant who was served, or any other party who may be affected by the amendment.
(6) Service of process on an inmate of a public institution may be made by the sheriff or any constable of the parish where the institution is situated.
(7) Service of process by a sheriff or constable shall be returned into the court which issued the process as soon as possible after the service is made. In addition thereto, the serving officer shall keep a complete record thereof in a book specially provided for that purpose. If the original return is lost or destroyed, the entries in this book shall be received and recognized in lieu thereof, subject to the provisions of R.S. 13:3471(5).
(8) Subsequent to service of the original petition in any civil action or proceeding, service of pleadings, documents, or notices that may be served by mail or delivery on an attorney of record may also be made by transmitting a copy to the attorney by electronic means at the number or addresses for receipt of electronic service expressly designated in a pleading or other writing for receipt of electronic service. Service by electronic means is complete upon transmission but is not effective and shall not be certified if the serving party learns the transmission did not reach the attorney to be served.
Amended by Acts 1950, No. 21, §1; Acts 1954, No. 142, §1; Acts 1960, No. 32, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1961; Acts 1983, No. 125, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984; Acts 1987, No. 671, §1; Acts 1989, No. 524, §1; Acts 1999, No. 145, §3; Acts 1999, No. 395, §2; Acts 2010, No. 185, §2; Acts 2012, No. 544, §2.