WYOMING RULES AND CIVIL PROCEDURE

Disclaimer: Due to the rapidly changing nature of the law, there will be times when the material on this site will not be current. It is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. It should not be considered comprehensive or exhaustive and is not a substitute for advice from your attorney. We make no express or implied warranty as to the material’s accuracy, reliability, completeness, timeliness or appropriateness for a particular purpose, including applicability to your jurisdiction or circumstances. We assume no liability whatsoever for any direct, indirect or consequential damages resulting from your reliance on this material; you do so at your own risk. Seek the advice of an attorney. Comments, corrections or suggestions should be directed to info@undisputedlegal.com.  the information listed below may have been amended. For updated process serving legislation, please visit the Wyoming Courts web site.

Wyoming Process Serving Requirements

Process may be served within the state, by the sheriff of the county where the service is made, or by the under sheriff or deputy, or, at the request of the party causing same to be issued, by any other person of the age of majority, not a party to the action, appointed for such purpose by the clerk.

Rule 4. Process.

(a) Issuance of summons. Upon the filing of the complaint the clerk shall forthwith issue a summons and deliver it for service to the sheriff or to a person specially appointed to serve it. Upon request of the plaintiff separate or additional summons shall issue against any defendants.

(b) Form of summons. The summons shall be signed by the clerk, be under the seal of the court, contain the name of the court and the names of the parties, be directed to the defendant, state the name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff’s address, and the time within which these rules require the defendant to appear and defend, and shall notify the defendant that in case of the defendant’s failure to do so judgment by default will be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint.

(c) By whom served. Process may be served:

(1) Within the state, by the sheriff of the county where the service is made, or by the undersheriff or deputy, or, at the request of the party causing same to be issued, by any other person of the age of majority, not a party to the action, appointed for such purpose by the clerk;

(2) In another state or United States territory, by the sheriff of the county where the service is made, or by the undersheriff or deputy, or by a United States marshal, or the deputy, or any other person of the age of majority, not a party to the action, appointed for such purpose by the clerk;

(3) In a foreign country, by any citizen of the United States of the age of majority appointed for such purpose by the clerk;

(4) In the event service is made by a person other than an officer, the amount of costs assessed therefor, if any, against any adverse party shall be within the discretion of the court.

(d) Personal service. The summons and complaint shall be served together. The plaintiff shall furnish the person making service with such copies as are necessary. Service shall be made as follows:

(1) In the event service is made by a person other than an officer, the amount of costs assessed therefor, if any, against any adverse party shall be within the discretion of the court.

(2) Upon a person under 14 years of age or an incompetent person, by serving the same upon the guardian or, if no guardian has been appointed in this state, then upon the person having legal custody and control or upon a guardian ad litem;

(3) Upon a partnership, or other unincorporated association, by delivery of copies to one or more of the partners or associates, or a managing or general agent thereof, or agent for process, or by leaving same at the usual place of business of such defendant with any employee then in charge thereof;

(4) Upon a corporation, by delivery of copies to any officer, manager, general agent, or agent for process. If no such officer, manager or agent can be found in the county in which the action is brought such copies may be delivered to any agent or employee found in such county. If such delivery be to a person other than an officer, manager, general agent or agent for process, the clerk, at least 20 days before default is entered, shall mail copies to the corporation by registered or certified mail and marked “restricted delivery” with return receipt requested, at its last known address;

(5) Upon a department or agency of the state, a municipal or other public corporation, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the chief executive officer thereof, or to its secretary, clerk, person in charge of its principal office or place of business, or any member of its governing body;

(6) Upon the secretary of state, as agent for a party, when and in the manner authorized by statute.

(e) Service by publication. Service by publication may be had where specifically provided for by statute, and in the following cases:

(1) When the defendant resides out of the state, or the defendant’s residence cannot be ascertained, and the action is:

(i) For the recovery of real property or of an estate or interest therein;

(ii) For the partition of real property;

(iii) For the sale of real property under a mortgage, lien or other encumbrance or charge;

(iv) To compel specific performance of a contract of sale of real estate;

(2) In actions to establish or set aside a will, where the defendant resides out of the state, or the defendant’s residence cannot be ascertained;

(3) In actions in which it is sought by a provisional remedy to take, or appropriate in any way, the property of the defendant, when the defendant is a foreign corporation, or a nonresident of this state, or the defendant’s place of residence cannot be ascertained, and in actions against a corporation incorporated under the laws of this state, which has failed to elect officers, or to appoint an agent, upon whom service of summons can be made as provided by these rules and which has no place of doing business in this state;

(4) In actions which relate to, or the subject of which is real or personal property in this state, when a defendant has or claims a lien thereon, or an actual or contingent interest therein or the relief demanded consists wholly or partly in excluding the defendant from any interest therein, and such defendant is a nonresident of the state, or a dissolved domestic corporation which has no trustee for creditors and stockholders, who resides at a known address in Wyoming, or a domestic corporation which has failed to elect officers or appoint other representatives upon whom service of summons can be made as provided by these rules, or to appoint an agent as provided by statute, and which has no place of doing business in this state, or a domestic corporation, the certificate of incorporation of which has been forfeited pursuant to law and which has no trustee for creditors and stockholders who resides at a known address in Wyoming, or a foreign corporation, or defendant’s place of residence cannot be ascertained;

(5) In actions against personal representatives, conservators, or guardians, when the defendant has given bond as such in this state, but at the time of the commencement of the action is a nonresident of the state, or the defendant’s place of residence cannot be ascertained;

(6) In actions where the defendant, being a resident of this state, has departed from the county of residence with the intent to delay or defraud the defendant’s creditors, or to avoid the service of process, or keeps concealed with like intent;

(7) When an appellee has no attorney of record in this state, and is a nonresident of, and absent from the same, or has left the same to avoid the service of notice or process, or the appellee keeps concealed so that notice or process cannot be served;

(8) In an action or proceeding under Rule 60 hereof, to modify or vacate a judgment after term of court, or to impeach a judgment or order for fraud, or to obtain an order of satisfaction thereof, when a defendant is a nonresident of the state or the defendant’s residence cannot be ascertained;

(9) In suits for divorce, for alimony, to affirm or declare a marriage void, or the modification of any decree therefor entered in such suit, when the defendant is a nonresident of the state, or the defendant’s residence cannot be ascertained, or the defendant keeps concealed in order to avoid service of process;

(10) In actions for adoption or for the termination of parental rights;

(11) In all actions or proceedings which involve or relate to the waters, or right to appropriate the waters of the natural streams, springs, lakes, or other collections of still water within the boundaries of the state, or which involve or relate to the priority of appropriations of such waters including appeals from the determination of the state board of control, and in all actions or proceedings which involve or relate to the ownership of means of conveying or transporting water situated wholly or partly within this state, when the defendant or any of the defendants are nonresidents of the state or the defendant’s residence or their residence cannot be ascertained.

(f) Requirements for service by publication. Before service by publication can be made, an affidavit of the party, or the party’s agent or attorney, must be filed stating that service of a summons cannot be made within this state, on the defendant to be served by publication, and stating the defendant’s address, if known, or that the defendant’s address is unknown and cannot with reasonable diligence be ascertained, detailing the efforts made to obtain an address, and that the case is one of those mentioned in subdivision (e); and when such affidavit is filed, the party may proceed to make service by publication. In any case in which service by publication is made when the address of a defendant is known, it must be stated in the publication. Immediately after the first publication the party making the service shall deliver to the clerk copies of the publication, and the clerk shall mail a copy to each defendant whose name and address is known by registered or certified mail and marked “Restricted Delivery” with return receipt requested, directed to the defendant’s address named therein, and make an entry thereof on the appearance docket. In all cases in which a defendant is served by publication of notice and there has been no delivery of the notice mailed to the defendant by the clerk, the party who makes the service, or the party’s agent or attorney, at the time of the hearing and prior to entry of judgment, shall make and file an affidavit stating the address of such defendant as then known to the affiant, or if unknown, that the affiant has been unable to ascertain the same with the exercise of reasonable diligence, detailing the efforts made to obtain an address. Such additional notice, if any, shall then be given as may be directed by the court.

(g) Publication of notice. The publication must be made by the clerk for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper published in the county where the complaint is filed; or if there is no newspaper published in the county, then in a newspaper published in this state, and of general circulation in such county; if it be made in a daily newspaper, one insertion a week shall be sufficient; and it must contain a summary statement of the object and prayer of the complaint, mention the court wherein it is filed, and notify the person or persons thus to be served when they are required to answer, and that judgment by default may be rendered against them if they fail to appear.

(h) When service complete; how proved. Service by publication shall be deemed complete at the date of the last publication, when made in the manner and for the time prescribed in the preceding subdivisions; and such service shall be proved by affidavit.

(i) Service upon unknown persons. When an heir, devisee, or legatee of a deceased person, or a bondholder, lienholder or other person claiming an interest in the subject matter of the action is a necessary party, and it appears by affidavit that the person’s name and address are unknown to the party making service, proceedings against the person may be had by designating the person as an unknown heir, devisee or legatee of a named decedent or defendant, or in other cases as an unknown claimant, and service by publication may be had as provided in these rules for cases in which the names of the defendants are known.

(j) Publication may be made in another county. When it is provided by rule or statute that a notice shall be published in a newspaper, and no such paper is published in the county, or if such paper is published there and the publisher refuses, on tender of the publisher’s usual charge for a similar notice, to insert the same in the publisher’s newspaper, then a publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county shall be sufficient.

(k) Costs of publication. The lawful rates for any legal notice published in any qualified newspaper in this state in connection with or incidental to any cause or proceeding in any court of record in this state shall be and become a part of the court costs in such action or proceeding, which costs shall be paid to the clerk of the court in which such action or proceeding is pending by the party causing such notice to be published and finally assessed as the court may direct.

(l) Other service; personal service outside the state; service by registered or certified mail. In all cases where service by publication can be made under these rules, or where a statute permits service outside this state, the plaintiff may obtain service without publication by either of the following methods:

(1) Personal Service Outside the State. By delivery to the defendant of copies of the summons and complaint.

(2) Service by Registered or Certified Mail. Upon the request of any party the clerk shall send by registered or certified mail a copy of the complaint and summons addressed to the party to be served at the address given in the affidavit required under subdivision (f). The mail shall be sent marked “Restricted Delivery”, requesting a return receipt signed by the addressee or the addressee’s agent who has been specifically authorized in writing by a form acceptable to, and deposited with, the postal authorities. When such return receipt is received signed by the addressee or the addressee’s agent the clerk shall file the same and enter a certificate in the cause showing the making of such service.

(m) Return; proof of service.

(1) Return. The person serving the process shall make proof of service thereof to the court promptly and in any event within the time during which the person served must respond to the process. Failure to make proof of service does not affect the validity of the service.

(2) Proof of Service. Proof of service of process shall be made as follows:

(i) If served by a Wyoming sheriff, undersheriff or deputy by a certificate with a statement as to date, place and manner of service, except that a special deputy appointed for the sole purpose of making service shall make proof by the special deputy’s affidavit containing such statement;

(ii) If by any other person, by the person’s affidavit thereof with a statement as to date, place and manner of service;

(iii) If by registered or certified mail, by the certificate of the clerk showing the date of the mailing and the date the clerk received the return receipt;

(iv) If by publication, by the affidavit of publication together with the certificate of the clerk as to the mailing of copies where required;

(v) By the written admission, acceptance or waiver of service by the person to be served, duly acknowledged.

(n) Amendment. At any time in its discretion and upon such terms as it deems just, the court may allow any process or proof of service thereof to be amended, unless it clearly appears that material prejudice would result to the substantial rights of the party against whom the process issued.

(o) Waiver of service; duty to save costs of service; request to waive.

(1) A defendant who waives service of a summons does not thereby waive any objection to the venue or to the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the defendant.

(2) An individual, corporation, or partnership or other unincorporated association that is subject to service under subdivision (d)(1), (d)(3), or (d)(4) and that receives notice of an action in the manner provided in this paragraph has a duty to avoid unnecessary costs of serving the summons. To avoid costs, the plaintiff may notify such a defendant of the commencement of the action and request that the defendant waive service of a summons. The notice and request:

(A) Shall be in writing and shall be addressed directly to the defendant, if an individual, or else to an officer, manager, general agent, or agent for process, if a corporation, or else to one or more of the partners or associates, or a managing or general agent, or agent for process, if a partnership or other unincorporated association;

(B) Shall be dispatched through first-class mail or other reliable means;

(C) Shall be accompanied by a copy of the complaint and shall identify the court in which it has been filed;

(D) Shall inform the defendant, by means of a text prescribed in an official form promulgated pursuant to Rule 84, of the consequences of compliance and of a failure to comply with the request;

(E) Shall set forth the date on which the request is sent;

(F) Shall allow the defendant a reasonable time to return the waiver, which shall be at least 30 days from the date on which the request is sent, or 60 days from that date if the defendant is addressed outside the United States; and

(G) Shall provide the defendant with an extra copy of the notice and request, as well as a prepaid means of compliance in writing. If a defendant located within the United States fails to comply with a request for waiver made by a plaintiff located within the United States, the court shall impose the costs subsequently incurred in effecting service on the defendant unless good cause for the failure be shown.

(3) A defendant that, before being served with process, timely returns a waiver so requested is not required to serve an answer to the complaint until 60 days after the date on which the request for waiver of service was sent, or 90 days after that date if the defendant was addressed outside the United States.

(4) When the plaintiff files a waiver of service with the court, the action shall proceed, except as provided in paragraph (3), as if a summons and complaint had been served at the time of filing the waiver, and no proof of service shall be required.

(5) The costs to be imposed on a defendant under paragraph (2) for failure to comply with a request to waive service of a summons shall include the costs subsequently incurred in effecting service under subdivision (d)(1), (d)(3), (d)(4), (e), (f), (g), or (l), together with the costs, including a reasonable attorney’s fee, of any motion required to collect the costs of service. (Amended November 7, 1960, effective March 21, 1961; amended October 21, 1970, effective February 11, 1971; amended July 15, 1975, effective November 13, 1975; amended January 11, 1995, effective April 11, 1995.) (Amended November 7, 1960, effective March 21, 1961; amended October 21, 1970, effective February 11, 1971; amended July 15, 1975, effective November 13, 1975; amended January 11, 1995, effective April 11, 1995.)

Rule 45 Subpoena

(a) Form; issuance.

(1) Every subpoena shall:

(A) State the name of the court from which it issued; and

(B) State the title of the action, the name of the court in which it is pending, and its civil action number; and

(C) Command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony by deposition or at trial or hearing, or to produce and permit inspection and copying of designated books, documents or tangible things in the possession, custody or control of that person, or to permit inspection of premises, at a time and place therein specified; and

(D) Set forth the text of subdivisions (c), (d) and (e) of this rule. A command to produce evidence or to permit inspection may be joined with a command to appear at trial or hearing or at deposition, or may be issued separately.

(2) A subpoena shall issue from the court in which the action is pending.

(3) A subpoena may be issued to command attendance or production at trial or hearing without notice to other parties. A subpoena to command attendance at deposition, or to produce and permit inspection and copying of designated books, documents or tangible things before trial or hearing, or to permit inspection of premises before trial or hearing, shall be issued only after or concurrently with reasonable notice, served in the manner prescribed by Rule 5(b), to all other parties to the action of the deposition, production or inspection.

(4) The clerk shall issue a subpoena, signed but otherwise in blank, to a party requesting it, who shall complete it before service. An attorney as officer of the court may also issue and sign a subpoena on behalf of a court in which the attorney is authorized to practice.

(b) Service; place of attendance.

(1) A subpoena may be served by the sheriff, by a deputy sheriff, or by any other person who is not a party and is not a minor, at any place within the State of Wyoming. Service of a subpoena upon a person named therein shall be made by delivering a copy thereof to such person and, if the person’s attendance is commanded, by tendering to that person the statutory witness fees for one day’s attendance and the mileage allowed by law. The party subpoenaing any witness residing in a county other than that in which the action is pending shall pay to such witness, after the hearing or trial, the statutory per diem allowance for state employees for each day or part thereof necessarily spent by such witness in traveling to and from the court and in attendance at the hearing or trial.

(2) Proof of service shall be made, when necessary, as provided in Rule 4(m), and cost shall be taxed as provided in Rule 4(c)(4).

(3) A subpoena for trial or hearing may require the person subpoenaed to appear at the trial or hearing irrespective of the person’s place of residence, place of employment, or where such person regularly transacts business in person.

(4) A person commanded by subpoena to appear at a deposition may be required to attend only in the county wherein that person resides or is employed or regularly transacts business in person, or at such other convenient place as is fixed by an order of court. A nonresident of the state may be required to attend only in the county wherein that nonresident is served with a subpoena or at such other convenient place as is fixed by an order of court.

(c) Protection of persons subject to subpoenas.

(1) A party or an attorney responsible for the issuance and service of a subpoena shall take reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue burden or expense on a person subject to that subpoena. The court on behalf of which the subpoena was issued shall enforce this duty and impose upon the party or attorney in breach of this duty an appropriate sanction, which may include, but is not limited to, lost earnings and a reasonable attorney’s fee.

(2)

(A) A person commanded to produce and permit inspection and copying of designated books, papers, documents or tangible things, or inspection of premises need not appear in person at the place of production or inspection unless commanded to appear for deposition, hearing or trial.

(B) Subject to subdivision (d)(2) of this rule, a person commanded to produce and permit inspection and copying may, within 14 days after service of the subpoena or before the time specified for compliance if such time is less than 14 days after service, serve upon the party or attorney designated in the subpoena written objection to inspection or copying of any or all of the designated materials or of the premises. If objection is made, the party serving the subpoena shall not be entitled to inspect and copy the materials or inspect the premises except pursuant to an order of the court by which the subpoena was issued. If objection has been made, the party serving the subpoena may, upon notice to the person commanded to produce, move at any time for an order to compel the production. Such an order to compel production shall protect any person who is not a party or an officer of a party from significant expense resulting from the inspection and copying commanded.

(3)

(A) On timely motion, the court by which a subpoena was issued shall quash or modify the subpoena if it:

(i) Fails to allow reasonable time for compliance;

(ii) Requires, in the case of a deposition or production prior to hearing or trial, a person to travel outside that person’s county of residence or employment or a county where that person regularly transacts business in person; or

(iii) Requires disclosure of privileged or other protected matter and no exception or waiver applies; or

(iv) Subjects a person to undue burden.

(B) If a subpoena:

(i) Requires disclosure of a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information; or

(ii) Requires disclosure of an unretained expert’s opinion or information not describing specific events or occurrences in dispute and resulting from the expert’s study made not at the request of any party; or

(iii) Requires a person who is not a party or an officer of a party to incur substantial expense to travel to attend trial, the court may, to protect a person subject to or affected by the subpoena, quash or modify the subpoena or, if the party in whose behalf the subpoena is issued shows substantial need for the testimony or material that cannot be otherwise met without undue hardship and assures that the person to whom the subpoena is addressed will be reasonably compensated, the court may order appearance or production only upon specified conditions.

(d) Duties in responding to subpoena.

(1) A person responding to a subpoena to produce documents shall produce them as they are kept in the usual course of business or shall organize and label them to correspond with the categories in the demand.

(2) When information or material subject to a subpoena is withheld on a claim that it is privileged or subject to protection as trial preparation materials, the claim shall be made expressly and shall be supported by a description of the nature of the documents, communications, or things not produced that is sufficient to enable the demanding party to contest the claim.

(e) Contempt. Failure by any person without adequate excuse to obey a subpoena served upon that person may be deemed a contempt of the court from which the subpoena issued. Adequate causes for failure to obey include lack of personal service upon the person subpoenaed, and when a subpoena purports to require a person to attend a deposition or produce prior to hearing or trial at a place not within the limits provided by clause (ii) of subdivision (c)(3)(a).
(Amended October 21, 1970, effective February 11, 1971; amended November 6, 1980, effective January 28, 1981; amended October 22, 1992, effective January 12, 1993.)

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