§ 11-37.2-5. Return of service Alternate service.
(a) The complaint and any order issued under this chapter shall be personally served upon the defendant by a sheriff or constable except as provided in subsection (c), (d) and (f) of this section. Service shall be made without payment of any fee when service is made by a deputy sheriff. At the election of the plaintiff, service pursuant to this subsection may also be made by a constable licensed to serve process of the district court pursuant to § 45-16-4.1. The constable shall be entitled to receive the fee allowed by law for the service of a district court summons.
(b) Return of service shall be forwarded by the deputy sheriff or constable to the clerk of the court prior to the date set down for hearing on the complaint. If service has not been made, the deputy sheriff or constable shall indicate on the summons the reason therefor and the attempts made to serve the defendant.
(c) At the time the return of service is sent to the clerk of the court, the deputy sheriff or constable shall cause a copy of the return of service to be sent to the plaintiff and to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
(d) If, at the time of hearing on the complaint, the court determines that after diligent effort the deputy sheriff or constable has been unable to serve the defendant personally, the judge may order an alternate method of service designed to give reasonable notice of the action to the defendant and taking into consideration the plaintiff's ability to afford the means of service ordered. Alternative service shall include, but not be limited to: service by certified and regular mail at defendant's last known address (excluding the residence which he or she has been ordered to vacate) or place of employment, leaving copies at the defendant's dwelling or usual place of abode with a person of suitable age and discretion residing therein, or by publication in a newspaper for two (2) consecutive weeks. The court shall set a new date for hearing on the complaint and shall extend the temporary order until that date.
(e) If the defendant appears in person before the court, the necessity for further service is waived and proof of service of that order is not necessary.
(f) If the defendant is served notice regarding the complaint and hearing, but does not appear at the hearing, the clerk of the district court shall mail the defendant a copy of the resulting order.
(g) When service of the temporary order issued pursuant to this section has not been made and/or after a permanent order is entered, a police officer shall give notice of the order to the defendant by handing him or her a certified copy of the order. The officer shall indicate that he or she has given notice by writing on the plaintiff's copy of the order and the police department's copy of the order the date and time of giving notice and the officer's name and badge number. The officer shall indicate on the offense report that actual notice was given.
(P.L. 2009, ch. 239, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 240, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 324, § 38.)