Yes. The Respondent may sign a paper (“Acceptance of Service of Process”) agreeing to accept service of copies of the Summons, Petition and other required papers rather than have a Sheriff or process server deliver them. The Respondent also may sign a paper (“Waiver of Service of Process”) agreeing not to receive the Summons and Petition at all. In either case, the agreement does not mean that the Respondent consents to things the Petitioner has asked the court to do. It means only that the Respondent admits receiving the Summons and Petition or does not want to have them formally served. This way of serving papers is allowed by court rules and eliminates the cost of having the sheriff or a process server deliver the papers. However, it is only useful when the Respondent cooperates with the Petitioner. This sometimes happens when both parties agree to end the marriage and want to make the divorce case go as quickly as possible. This method should not be attempted if domestic violence or the personal safety of the Petitioner is a concern.
If the Respondent either accepts or waives service, the signed form must be filed with the Clerk of Superior Court so the record shows that service actually was made.