Each defendant must receive a copy of a claim which shall be delivered to them by the plaintiff after he/she files the claim with the small claims’ clerk. This document is known as “Service of Process,” and without this document in place, a lawsuit in Houston cannot be considered as a full lawsuit. Why it is necessary to have the other side served is very clear: When a case is filed against a person, he or she should be aware of the case; therefore, they should be given proper notification of the case filed against them and the appropriate date, time and venue that they should appear for defence.
The state in which you filed a lawsuit is where papers should be served. For instance, if the person you’re suing lives in a particular state or does business there, then you can serve papers in any location within that state. However, you’re not permitted to sue a person in a court in one state and go to another state to serve papers. So, if you must serve papers in Houston, then you have to sue the person in Houston. There is, however, an exception to this when the suits are about motor vehicle accidents or a lawsuit against a person that owns a real estate property in a state but lives outside that state. And that is also applicable here in Houston. Many states give rooms to out-of-state service regarding this type of claim. The small claims court clerk will guide you on how these court issues are handled here in Houston.
Everyone must be duly served by a process server: the defendants on the plaintiff’s claim or the entire plaintiffs on the defendant’s claim must be involved in the serve. You should not assume that the information would circulate to others by merely serving one defendant or plaintiff. Everyone must be served irrespective of the closeness of the parties involved, even if they’re married, work or live together here in Houston.