Service of Process on Law Enforcement Officers and Personnel

Police precincts usually have set protocol for accepting service of process on an officer if duty related

Service of process on law enforcement personnel
Police precincts generally have protocol for accepting service of process on officers for duty related court actions

Police Officers are frequently summoned to court to testify

Sooner or later the process server will be requested to serve a subpoena or other civil process on a police officer, sheriff or other member of law enforcement. By the very nature of their work it’s common for law enforcement personnel to be asked to appear and testify in a court of law. If the court matter is duty related the officer should be served at his or her precinct. In our experiences serving officers each police precinct has a person designated to accept service on behalf of the officer, usually the police captain. It would not be practical nor reasonable to serve a police officer while they are on duty and in the field, although we have done that on occasion, per request.

If service of process on law enforcement is not duty related service should be effected as any other routine service, at the primary residence of the individual. Police officers may work the 2nd or 3rd shift, it may benefit the process server by saving them time and trips to try to find out which shift the officer works prior to making an attempt to serve them papers. Not to mention, the officer would most likely appreciate this courtesy. K9 patrols take their police dogs home with them and these officers may also rest during the time their human does.

As in all other instances, if the officer is being served a subpoena, witness fees must be attached.

A person is not obligated to attend as a witness in a civil case unless one day’s attendance and travel fees are paid or tendered in advance, unless the subpoena is issued on behalf of the state of Minnesota, or the state’s officer or agent.

In Minnesota subpoena witness fees are as follows:

$20 for each day plus round trip travel estimated from the witness’s residence at 28 cents per mile. If a witness lives outside the state, travel costs shall be estimated from the boundary line of the state where the witness crossed into Minnesota at 28 cents per mile. (Additional fees may be available for out-of-state witnesses). Minnesota Court Rules