CHAPTER 896
CIVIL PROCESS, SERVICE AND TIME FOR RETURN

Table of Contents

Sec. 52-45a. (Formerly Sec. 52-89). Commencement of civil actions. Contents and signature of process.
Sec. 52-56. Service of process out of officer's precinct.
Sec. 52-57. Manner of service upon individuals, municipalities, corporations, partnerships and voluntary associations.
Sec. 52-64. Service in action against state.

      Sec. 52-45a. (Formerly Sec. 52-89). Commencement of civil actions. Contents and signature of process.

      Because trade name is not an entity with legal capacity to sue, corporation had no standing to litigate the merits of case when it brought an action solely in its trade name, without corporation itself being named as a party. 87 CA 474.

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      Sec. 52-56. Service of process out of officer's precinct. (a) If any officer has commenced the service of any civil process within his precinct, he may attach the property of, or serve the process upon, any defendant named in the process outside of his precinct. An officer shall not be deemed to have commenced service in any civil action by process of foreign attachment or garnishment by service on the garnishee therein, unless the garnishee has concealed in his possession, at the time of the service, the property of the defendant or is indebted to him.

      (b) If there are two or more defendants, any of whom reside outside of the precinct of the officer commencing service or, in any action in case of attachment of property or in case of foreign attachment or garnishment, if any defendant or garnishee resides outside of the precinct of the officer commencing service, any officer may serve the process upon such of the defendants or garnishees as reside within his precinct, and may then (1) complete the service himself upon any defendant or garnishee residing outside his precinct, or (2) deliver the process to an officer of another precinct for service upon any defendant or garnishee residing in the other precinct and each officer serving the same shall endorse his actions thereon. The officer completing the service shall include in his endorsement a copy of the endorsement upon the writ of the officer commencing service and shall return the process to court.

      (c) In any action where process is permitted to be served upon the Secretary of the State or the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles pursuant to sections 52-57, 52-59b, 52-62 and 52-63, service of such process may be made by any officer of any precinct having such process in his hands for service.

      (d) The execution or service of any capias issued pursuant to section 52-143 or 54-2a or any warrant or capias mittimus issued by a court or family support magistrate in a family support matter may be made in any precinct in the state by any state marshal of any precinct having such capias, warrant or capias mittimus in his hands for service.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7788; P.A. 82-160, S. 14; P.A. 85-232, S. 1; P.A. 86-286, S. 1; P.A. 87-196, S. 1; 87-589, S. 86, 87; P.A. 05-135, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 82-160 rephrased section and inserted Subsec. indicators; P.A. 85-232 added Subsec. (c), permitting service of process by any officer of any precinct in any action where process may be served upon secretary of the state and the commissioner of motor vehicles pursuant to Secs. 52-57, 52-59b, 52-62 and 52-63; P.A. 86-286 added Subsec. (d) permitting officer to serve civil process outside precinct in action initiated within precinct of such officer; P.A. 87-196 amended Subsec. (b) by (1) permitting officer to complete service himself upon defendant or garnishee residing outside precinct if there are two or more defendants and one resides within his precinct, and (2) deleting requirement that writ be directed to officers of both precincts; and deleted Subsec. (d) permitting service outside precinct if action initiated within precinct; P.A. 87-589 changed effective date of P.A. 87-196, S. 1. from October 1, 1987, to May 18, 1987; P.A. 05-135 made a technical change in Subsec. (b) and added Subsec. (d) re execution or service of capias, warrant or capias mittimus in any precinct by state marshal of any precinct, effective June 24, 2005.

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      Sec. 52-57. Manner of service upon individuals, municipalities, corporations, partnerships and voluntary associations. (a) Except as otherwise provided, process in any civil action shall be served by leaving a true and attested copy of it, including the declaration or complaint, with the defendant, or at his usual place of abode, in this state.

      (b) Process in civil actions against the following-described classes of defendants shall be served as follows: (1) Against a town, upon its clerk, assistant clerk, manager or one of its selectmen; (2) against a city, upon its clerk or assistant clerk or upon its mayor or manager; (3) against a borough, upon its manager, clerk or assistant clerk or upon the warden or one of its burgesses; (4) against a school district, upon its clerk or one of its committee; (5) against a board, commission, department or agency of a town, city or borough, notwithstanding any provision of law, upon the clerk of the town, city or borough, provided two copies of such process shall be served upon the clerk and the clerk shall retain one copy and forward the second copy to the board, commission, department or agency; (6) against any other municipal or quasi-municipal corporation, upon its clerk or upon its chief presiding officer or managing agent; and (7) against an employee of a town, city or borough in a cause of action arising from the employee's duties or employment, upon the clerk of the town, city or borough, provided two copies of such process shall be served upon the clerk and the clerk shall retain one copy and forward the second copy to the employee.

      (c) In actions against a private corporation, service of process shall be made either upon the president, the vice president, an assistant vice president, the secretary, the assistant secretary, the treasurer, the assistant treasurer, the cashier, the assistant cashier, the teller or the assistant teller or its general or managing agent or manager or upon any director resident in this state, or the person in charge of the business of the corporation or upon any person who is at the time of service in charge of the office of the corporation in the town in which its principal office or place of business is located. In actions against a private corporation established under the laws of any other state, any foreign country or the United States, service of process may be made upon any of the aforesaid officers or agents, or upon the agent of the corporation appointed pursuant to section 33-922.

      (d) In actions against a partnership, service of process may be made by personally serving any process within the state upon any one of the partners or, if none of the partners are residents of the state, service may be made upon the Secretary of the State; provided, prior to the return date, the officer serving the writ shall mail a copy of the writ and the complaint by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last-known address of every partner named in the writ not personally served. A statement of such mailing and receipt therefor shall be included in the officer's return.

      (e) In actions against a voluntary association, service of process may be made upon the presiding officer, secretary or treasurer. If all of such officers are not residents of the state and the voluntary association is doing business, acting or carrying out its operations or its functions within the state, the voluntary association shall be deemed to have appointed the Secretary of the State as its attorney and to have agreed that any process in any civil action brought against it may be served upon the Secretary of the State and that the process shall have the same validity as if served personally upon the presiding officer, secretary or treasurer of the voluntary association. The process shall be served by any officer to whom the process is directed upon the Secretary of the State by leaving with, or at the office of, the Secretary of the State, at least twelve days before the return day of the process, a true and attested copy thereof, and by sending to the defendant at its last-known address by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, a like true and attested copy with an endorsement thereon of the service upon the Secretary of the State. The officer serving the process upon the Secretary of the State shall leave with the Secretary of the State, at the time of service, a fee of twenty-five dollars, which fee shall be taxed in favor of the plaintiff in his costs if he prevails in the action. The Secretary of the State shall keep a record of each such process and the day and hour of service.

      (f) When the other methods of service of process provided under this section or otherwise provided by law cannot be effected, in actions concerning the establishment, enforcement or modification of child support orders other than actions for dissolution of marriage, including, but not limited to, such actions under sections 17b-122, 17b-124 to 17b-132, inclusive, 17b-136 to 17b-138, inclusive, 17b-194 to 17b-197, inclusive, 17b-222 to 17b-250, inclusive, 17b-256, 17b-263, 17b-340 to 17b-350, inclusive, 17b-689b, 17b-743 to 17b-747, inclusive, and 46b-212 to 46b-213v, inclusive, and chapters 815, 815p, 815t, 815y and 816, and actions to implement garnishments for support under section 52-362, service of process may be made upon a party to the action by one of the following methods, provided proof of receipt of such process by such party is presented to the court in accordance with rules promulgated by the judges of the Superior Court:

      (1) By certified mail to a party to the action addressed to the employer of such party. Any service of process so sent shall include on the outside envelope the words "To be delivered to the employee in accordance with subsection (f) of section 52-57". The employer shall accept any such service of process sent by certified mail and promptly deliver such certified mail to the employee; or

      (2) When a party to an action under this subsection is employed by an employer with fifteen or more employees, by personal service upon an official of the employer designated as an agent to accept service of process in actions brought under this subsection. Every employer with fifteen or more employees doing business in this state shall designate an official to accept service of process for employees who are parties to such actions. The person so served shall promptly deliver such process to the employee.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7774; 1955, S. 3149d; 1959, P.A. 152, S. 73; P.A. 73-50; P.A. 82-160, S. 15; P.A. 83-445; P.A. 85-303, S. 1, 5; P.A. 89-195, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6, S. 106, 117; P.A. 96-271, S. 217, 254; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1, S. 69, 75; P.A. 03-19, S. 116; 03-224, S. 8; 03-278, S. 126; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-3, S. 97; P.A. 04-76, S. 56; 04-78, S. 3; P.A. 05-288, S. 175.)

      History: 1959 act deleted provisions for actions against county, county commissioners and county clerks, county government having been abolished; P.A. 73-50 allowed service to be made upon an assistant vice president and upon attorneys of foreign corporations appointed pursuant to Sec. 33-400 rather than upon "resident" attorneys of such corporations appointed pursuant to Sec. 33-138; P.A. 82-160 inserted Subsec. indicators, added Subsec. (d) concerning service upon partnerships which was formerly Sec. 52-57b, and added Subsec. (e) concerning service upon voluntary associations which was formerly Sec. 52-59; P.A. 83-445 specified that copy of writ and complaint be mailed to partners "named in writ"; P.A. 85-303 substituted reference to corporation's attorney for reference to corporation's agent in Subsec. (c) and raised fee for service of process upon secretary of the state from five to ten dollars; P.A. 89-195 added Subsec. (f) re service of process in actions concerning child support orders where other methods of service of process cannot be effected; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6 amended Subsec. (e) to raise fee from ten to twenty-five dollars; P.A. 96-271 amended Subsec. (c) to replace reference to Sec. 33-400 with Sec. 33-922, effective January 1, 1997; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1 added reference to Secs. 46b-212 to 46b-213v, inclusive, to Subsec. (f), effective January 1, 1998 (Revisor's note: References in Subsec. (f) to Secs. "17b-115" and "17b-693" were replaced editorially by the Revisors with "17b-616" and "17b-689b", respectively, and the word "to" preceding "17b-693" was deleted to reflect repeal of Secs. 17b-115, 17b-689a and 17b-690 to 17b-693, inclusive); P.A. 03-19 made a technical change in Subsec. (f), effective May 12, 2003; P.A. 03-224 amended Subsec. (b) by adding new Subdiv. (5) re service on municipal board, commission, department or agency, redesignating existing Subdiv. (5) as Subdiv. (6) and adding Subdiv. (7) re service on municipal employee, effective July 2, 2003; P.A. 03-278 amended Subsec. (b) by deleting Subdiv. (5)(B) re service on clerk, chief presiding officer or executive head of municipal board, commission, department or agency, deleting Subdiv. (7)(B) re service on municipal employee pursuant to Subsec. (a) and making technical changes, effective July 9, 2003; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-3, in repealing Secs. 17b-19, 17b-62 to 17b-65, inclusive, 17b-116, 17b-116a, 17b-116b, 17b-117, 17b-120, 17b-121, 17b-123, 17b-134, 17b-135, 17b-220, 17b-259 and 17b-287, authorized deletion of internal references to said section in this section, effective March 1, 2004; P.A. 04-76 amended Subsec. (f) by deleting references to Secs. 17b-118b and 17b-221 that were repealed by the same act; P.A. 04-78 amended Subsec. (b)(5) by replacing "any provision of the general statutes" with "any provision of law"; P.A. 05-288 made technical changes in Subsec. (b), effective July 13, 2005.

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      Sec. 52-64. Service in action against state. Service of civil process in any civil action or proceeding maintainable against or in any appeal authorized from the actions of, or service of any foreign attachment or garnishment authorized against, the state or against any institution, board, commission, department or administrative tribunal thereof, or against any officer, servant, agent or employee of the state or of any such institution, board, commission, department or administrative tribunal, as such, may be made by a proper officer (1) leaving a true and attested copy of the process, including the declaration or complaint, with the Attorney General at the Attorney General's office in Hartford, or (2) sending a true and attested copy of the process, including the summons and complaint, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Attorney General at the Attorney General's office in Hartford.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7781; 1967, P.A. 656, S. 36; P.A. 82-160, S. 21; P.A. 05-105, S. 1.)

      History: 1967 act deleted reference to service on the attorney general at his office "in the capitol"; P.A. 82-160 rephrased the section and added "or garnishment"; P.A. 05-105 added provision re service "by a proper officer", designated provision re service by leaving true and attested copy of process with the Attorney General as Subdiv. (1), made a technical change and added Subdiv. (2) re service by sending process by certified mail to the Attorney General.

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