2006 Code of Virginia § 8.01-329 - Service of process or notice; service on Secretary of Commonwealth

8.01-329. Service of process or notice; service on Secretary ofCommonwealth.

A. When the exercise of personal jurisdiction is authorized by this chapter,service of process or notice may be made in the same manner as is providedfor in Chapter 8 ( 8.01-285 et seq.) of this title in any other case inwhich personal jurisdiction is exercised over such a party, or process ornotice may be served on any agent of such person in the county or city inthis Commonwealth in which that agent resides or on the Secretary of theCommonwealth of Virginia, hereinafter referred to in this section as the"Secretary," who, for this purpose, shall be deemed to be the statutoryagent of such person.

B. When service is to be made on the Secretary, the party or his agent orattorney seeking service shall file an affidavit with the court, statingeither (i) that the person to be served is a nonresident or (ii) that, afterexercising due diligence, the party seeking service has been unable to locatethe person to be served. In either case, such affidavit shall set forth thelast known address of the person to be served. For the mailing, by the clerkto the party or his agent or attorney, in accordance with subsection C, ofverification of the effective date of service of process, the person filingan affidavit may leave a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the clerk.

When the person to be served is a resident, the signature of an attorney,party or agent of the person seeking service on such affidavit shallconstitute a certificate by him that process has been delivered to thesheriff or to a disinterested person as permitted by 8.01-293 for executionand, if the sheriff or disinterested person was unable to execute suchservice, that the person seeking service has made a bona fide attempt todetermine the actual place of abode or location of the person to be served.

C. Service of such process or notice on the Secretary shall be made by theplaintiff's, his agent's or the sheriff's leaving a copy of the process ornotice, together with a copy of the affidavit called for in subsection Bhereof and the fee prescribed in 2.2-409 in the office of the Secretary inthe City of Richmond, Virginia. Service of process or notice on the Secretarymay be made by mail if such service otherwise meets the requirements of thissection. Such service shall be sufficient upon the person to be served,provided that notice of such service, a copy of the process or notice, and acopy of the affidavit are forthwith mailed by certified mail, return receiptrequested, by the Secretary to the person or persons to be served at the lastknown post-office address of such person, and a certificate of complianceherewith by the Secretary or someone designated by him for that purpose andhaving knowledge of such compliance, shall be forthwith filed with the papersin the action. Service of process or notice on the Secretary shall beeffective on the date the certificate of compliance is filed with the courtin which the action is pending. Upon receipt of the certificate ofcompliance, the clerk of the court shall mail verification of the date thecertificate of compliance was filed with the court to the person who filedthe affidavit required by subsection B hereof, in the self-addressed, stampedenvelope, if any, provided to the clerk at the time of filing of theaffidavit. The clerk shall not be required to mail verification unless theself-addressed, stamped envelope has been provided.

D. Service of process in actions brought on a warrant or motion for judgmentpursuant to 16.1-79 or 16.1-81 shall be void and of no effect when suchservice of process is received by the Secretary within ten days of any returnday set by the warrant. In such cases, the Secretary shall return the processor notice, the copy of the affidavit, and the prescribed fee to the plaintiffor his agent. A copy of the notice of the rejection shall be sent to theclerk of the court in which the action was filed.

E. The Secretary shall maintain a record of each notice of service sent to aperson for a period of two years. The record maintained by the Secretaryshall include the name of the plaintiff or the person seeking service, thename of the person to be served, the date service was received by theSecretary, the date notice of service was forwarded to the person to beserved, and the date the certificate of compliance was sent by the Secretaryto the appropriate court. The Secretary shall not be required to maintain anyother records pursuant to this section.

(Code 1950, 8-813; 1977, c. 617; 1979, c. 31; 1986, c. 388; 1987, cc. 449,450, 459; 1990, c. 741; 1998, c. 259; 2001, c. 29.)

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