1923.06 Summons - service of process.

(A) Any summons in an action, including a claim for possession, pursuant to this chapter shall be issued, be in the form specified, and be served and returned as provided in this section. Such service shall be at least seven days before the day set for trial.

(B) Every summons issued under this section to recover residential premises shall contain the following language printed in a conspicuous manner: "A complaint to evict you has been filed with this court. No person shall be evicted unless the person's right to possession has ended and no person shall be evicted in retaliation for the exercise of the person's lawful rights. If you are depositing rent with the clerk of this court you shall continue to deposit such rent until the time of the court hearing. The failure to continue to deposit such rent may result in your eviction. You may request a trial by jury. You have the right to seek legal assistance. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may contact your local legal aid or legal service office. If none is available, you may contact your local bar association."

(C) The clerk of the court in which a complaint to evict is filed shall mail any summons by ordinary mail, along with a copy of the complaint, document, or other process to be served, to the defendant at the address set forth in the caption of the summons and to any address set forth in any written instructions furnished to the clerk. The mailing shall be evidenced by a certificate of mailing which the clerk shall complete and file.

In addition to this ordinary mail service, the clerk also shall cause service of that process to be completed under either of the following:

(1) Division (D) or (E) of this section or both, depending upon which of those two methods of service is requested by the plaintiff upon filing the complaint to evict;

(2) Division (F) of this section if the action relates to a deceased manufactured home park resident.

(D)

(1) If requested, the clerk shall deliver sufficient copies of the summons, complaint, document, or other process to be served to, and service shall be made by, one of the following persons:

(a) The sheriff of the county in which the premises are located when the process issues from a court of common pleas or county court;

(b) The bailiff of the court for service when process issues from a municipal court;

(c) Any person who is eighteen years of age or older, who is not a party, and who has been designated by order of the court to make service of process when process issues from any of the courts referred to in divisions (D)(1)(a) and (b) of this section.

(2) The person serving process shall effect service at the premises that are the subject of the forcible entry and detainer action by one of the following means:

(a) By locating the person to be served at the premises to tender a copy of the process and accompanying documents to that person;

(b) By leaving a copy of the summons, complaint, document, or other process with a person of suitable age and discretion found at the premises if the person to be served cannot be found at the time the person making service attempts to serve the summons pursuant to division (D)(2)(a) of this section;

(c) By posting a copy in a conspicuous place on the subject premises if service cannot be made pursuant to divisions (D)(2)(a) and (b) of this section.

(3) Within five days after receiving the summons, complaint, document, or other process from the clerk for service, the person making service shall return the process to the clerk. The person shall indicate on the process which method described in division (D)(2) of this section was used to serve the summons. The clerk shall make the appropriate entry on the appearance docket.

(E) If requested, the clerk shall mail by certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the summons, complaint, document, or other process to be served to the address set forth in the caption of the summons and to any address set forth in any written instructions furnished to the clerk.

(F)

(1) If the person to be evicted in an action pursuant to this chapter is a deceased manufactured home park resident, the plaintiff shall provide to the clerk the following information:

(a) If the plaintiff knows that a probate court has granted letters testamentary or of administration for the estate of the deceased resident, the name and address of the probate court, the case number of the estate, and the name and address of the executor or administrator appointed by the probate court;

(b) If the plaintiff knows that a probate court has not granted letters testamentary or of administration for the estate of the deceased resident or does not know whether or not a probate court has granted letters testamentary or of administration for the estate, the names and addresses of the deceased resident's spouse and any other members of the deceased resident's immediate family that are known to the plaintiff;

(c) If the plaintiff does not possess the information set forth in division (F)(1)(a) or (b) of this section, an affidavit from the plaintiff stating that the plaintiff does not possess the information.

(2)

(a) Upon receipt from the plaintiff of the information set forth in division (F)(1)(a) of this section, the clerk shall mail by certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the summons, complaint, document, or other process to be served to the address of the executor or administrator appointed by the probate court.

(b) Upon receipt from the plaintiff of the information set forth in division (F)(1)(b) or (c) of this section, the clerk shall do both of the following:

(i) Mail by ordinary mail and by certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the summons, complaint, document, or other process to be served to the persons and addresses provided by the plaintiff, if any. The ordinary mail mailing shall be evidenced by a certificate of mailing that the clerk shall complete and file.

(ii) Cause service of notice to be made by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the complaint is filed. The publication shall set forth the name and address of the court, the case number, the name and address of the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney, and the name and address of the deceased manufactured home park resident. The publication shall describe the premises entered upon and detained, shall contain a summary statement of the object of the eviction complaint against the deceased resident, and shall state that the claim for restitution of the premises shall be scheduled for a hearing in accordance with local court rules, but in no event sooner than the seventh day from the date service is complete. The clerk shall cause the publication to be published at least once a week for two weeks.

(G) Service of process shall be deemed complete on the date that any of the following has occurred:

(1) Service is made pursuant to division (D)(2)(a) or (b) of this section.

(2) Both ordinary mail service under division (C) and service by posting pursuant to division (D)(2)(c) of this section have been made.

(3) For service performed pursuant to division (E) or (F)(2)(a) of this section, on the date of mailing, if on the date of the hearing either of the following applies:

(a) The certified mail has not been returned for any reason other than refused or unclaimed.

(b) The certified mail has not been endorsed, and the ordinary mail has not been returned.

(4) For service performed under division (F)(2)(b) of this section, on the date of mailing under division (F)(2)(b)(i) of this section or on the date of the last publication under division (F)(2)(b)(ii) of this section, whichever is later, if on the date of the hearing, either of the following applies:

(a) The certified mail has not been returned for any reason other than refused or unclaimed.

(b) The certified mail has not been endorsed, and the ordinary mail has not been returned.

(H)

(1) The claim for restitution of the premises shall be scheduled for hearing in accordance with local court rules, but in no event sooner than the seventh day from the date service is complete.

(2) Answer day for any other claims filed with the claim for possession shall be twenty-eight days from the date service is deemed complete under this section.

(I) As used in this section, "immediate family" means a person's spouse, brothers and sisters of the whole or half blood, children, including adopted children and stepchildren, parents, and grandparents.

Cite as R.C. § 1923.06

History. Effective Date: 09-29-1999; 2007 HB56 10-18-2007