Service of Process

Due to COVID-19 and related public health guidance, as of October 20, 2020 and until further notice, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is receiving certain legal process electronically through the Service of Process portal.

Please note that our authority to accept service of process electronically is limited to the following types of documents:

  • Bankruptcy Notices
  • Civil Subpoena Duces Tecum (Personal Appearance / Documents)
  • Deposition Subpoena for Production of Records
  • Earnings Withholding Order / Wage Garnishment
  • Estate / Trust
  • Guardianship / Conservatorship
  • Request for Disability Records / Medical Records
  • Civil or Criminal Litigation / Petition for Writ of Mandamus*

*If you are attempting to submit a Summons and Complaint, a Petition for Writ of Mandamus or other civil or criminal legal process, you are encouraged to contact CDSS at (916) 420-0814 to confirm that the document can be served electronically. CDSS will only accept service in the following circumstances: when the named party is CDSS and/or one of its Divisions; or when certain CDSS officials are named in their official capacity. Click here for a list of CDSS officials eligible for service through this portal. Any attempt to serve CDSS executives or employees for matters in which they are named in their individual capacity only, or other CDSS employees not appearing on the list will result in the document being rejected.

Documents Naming “State of California”
Must be served on the Office of the Attorney General.

Documents Where Personal Service Is Required By Law
CDSS reserves the right to reject any document received through its service of process portal. This includes, but is not limited to, where a defect in service is found, where the type of legal process served, or any named party was not eligible for service through the portal.

After Hours Submission
Documents submitted after 5:00 p.m., on a weekend, or on a state holiday, will be construed to have been presented on the next business day at 9:00 a.m.

Service of Process