Important Change to Ga. Service Rule

As a result of the passage of Senate Bill 491, available here, a plaintiff who perfects service on a defendant must now file the return of service within 5 days of service.  If the plaintiff does not promptly file the proof of service, then the defendant’s time to answer does not begin to run until the proof of service is filed.  Under prior law, the defendant had an obligation to file his answer or responsive pleading within 30 days of service, regardless of when the proof of service was filed.  Now, he has an obligation to file his answer or response within 30 days of service only if the plaintiff files proof of service within 5 days of service.  Otherwise, the defendant has until the 30th day after the proof of service is filed.

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