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Rule 106. Method of Service (2020)


(a) Unless the citation or court order otherwise directs, the citation must be served by:

(1) delivering to the defendant, in person, a copy of the citation, showing the delivery date, and of the petition; or

(2) mailing to the defendant by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the citation and of the petition.

(b) Upon motion supported by a statement - sworn to before a notary or made under penalty of perjury - listing any location where the defendant can probably be found and stating specifically the facts showing that service has been attempted under (a)(1) or (a)(2) at the location named in the statement but has not been successful, the court may authorize service:

(1) by leaving a copy of the citation and of the petition with anyone older than sixteen at the location specified in the statement; or

(2) in any other manner, including electronically by social media, email, or other technology, that the statement or other evidence shows will be reasonably effective to give the defendant notice of the suit.

Amended by order of Aug. 21, 2020, eff. Dec. 31, 2020.

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
Oct. 29, 1940, eff. Sept. 1, 1941  
Aug. 18, 1947, eff. Dec. 31, 1947  
July 22, 1975, eff. Jan. 1, 1976  
July 11, 1977, eff. Jan. 1, 1978  
June 10, 1980, eff. Jan. 1, 1981  
July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988  
April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990  

Notes and Commentss

Comment to 2020 Change: Rule 106 is revised in response to section 17.033 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, which calls for rules to provide for substituted service of citation by social media. Amended Rule 106(b)(2) clarifies that a court may, in proper circumstances, permit service of citation electronically by social media, email, or other technology. In determining whether to permit electronic service of process, a court should consider whether the technology actually belongs to the defendant and whether the defendant regularly uses or recently used the technology. Other clarifying and stylistic changes have been made.


(No. 25) Question: Should the official or party making his return on a citation or notice as provided for by Rules 107 and 108 show in such return that the copy delivered to the defendant had endorsed thereon the date of such delivery as is provided for in Rule 106?

Answer: In view of the fact that Rule 107 requires the return to show "the man­ner of service," we are of the opinion that the return should show that the date of delivery was endorsed on the copy of cita­tion or notice in accordance with Rule 106, because Rule 106 makes such en­dorsement a part of the manner of service.

5 Tex. B.J. 168 (1942) reprinted in 8 Tex. B.J. 13 (1945).

(No. 80) Question: If the officer serving a citation fails to endorse “the date of delivery" upon the copy of the citation which is delivered to the defendant as required by Rule 106, does the trial court have jurisdiction to the extent that a judg­ment by default can be taken, provided the service was correct in other respects?

Answer: In our opinion the failure of the officer to endorse the date of delivery upon the copy of the citation delivered to the defendant does not affect the juris­diction of the trial court to' render a default judgment.

Such endorsement does not constitute a part of the citation itself, and it is merely for the convenience of the defendant to relieve him from the uncer­tainty of his own memory or from the inconvenience of referring to the officer's return in order to make sure of the date of service. The fact that Rule 107 pre­cludes the rendition of a default judgment until the officer's return shall have been on file with the clerk for ,at least ten days, assures to the defendant and his attorney ample opportunity to make certain of the date of service, in event the officer fails to note said date on the copy delivered to the defendant. This provision tends to show that the notation of the date on the defendant's copy is not mandatory in the sense that failure to comply therewith would invalidate the service. In our opinion a default judgment is valid not­withstanding the officer fails to make said notation on the copy delivered to the de­fendant.

In this connection, however, we feel that if the defendant seasonably moves to set aside the default judgment and shows that he was in fact injured or misled by the officer's failure to endorse the date of service upon his copy, in such a case the trial court should set aside the default judgment and give defendant an opportunity to appear and have a trial on the merits. This would be in harmony with Rule 1 and with the general spirit of all the rules which indicates that the rules should be so construed as to attain real justice between the parties.

6 Tex. B.J. 20 (1943) reprinted in 8 Tex. B.J. 30 (1945).