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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes


Rule 3.Commencement of the Action; Service of the Complaint; Filing of the Action

3.01Commencement of the Action

A civil action is commenced against each defendant:

(a) when the summons is served upon that defendant; or

(b) at the date of signing a waiver of service pursuant to Rule 4.05; or

(c) when the summons is delivered to the sheriff in the county where the defendant resides for service; but such delivery shall be ineffectual unless within 60 days thereafter the summons is actually served on that defendant or the first publication thereof is made.

Filing requirements are set forth in Rule 5.04, which requires filing with the court within one year after commencement for non-family cases.

(Amended effective July 1, 2013; amended effective July 1, 2015; amended effective July 1, 2018.)

Advisory Committee Comment - 2018 Amendments

Rule 3.01 is amended to implement the amendment to Rule 4.05, which replaces the somewhat unreliable procedure involving the "Acknowledgment of Service" form with a more straightforward procedure relying on a "Waiver of Service" form. Rule 3.01 defines the date of commencement of an action using the waiver of process procedure.

3.02Service of Complaint

A copy of the complaint shall be served with the summons, except when the service is by publication as provided in Rule 4.04.

Advisory Committee Comments - 2015 Amendments

This rule is amended to add the explicit provision for consent to service by any means in subdivision (b), not only service by mail. If the party to be served consents to service, the service is effective and constitutionally sound regardless of method. Thus, a party may consent to service by ordinary electronic mail even though the rules do not otherwise provide for it.