Utah Courts

Pardon our dust!
While we move to a new website design, some pages, like this one, will look like the old website.

If you can't find what you're looking for, try our new website search.

We appreciate your patience while we move everything to the new design.


Finding Legal Help

You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help. 

Como encontrar ayuda legal

Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.

URCP Rule 5 (Rules of Civil Procedure)


Rule 5. Service and filing of pleadings and other papers.
Rule printed on March 25, 2023 at 10:59 am. Go to https://www.utcourts.gov/rules for current rules.
Effective: 1/1/2021

(a) When service is required.

(1) Papers that must be served. Except as otherwise provided in these rules or as otherwise directed by the court, the following papers must be served on every party:

(A) a judgment;

(B) an order that states it must be served;

(C) a pleading after the original complaint;

(D) a paper relating to disclosure or discovery;

(E) a paper filed with the court other than a motion that may be heard ex parte; and

(F) a written notice, appearance, demand, offer of judgment, or similar paper.

(2) Serving parties in default. No service is required on a party who is in default except that:

(A) a party in default must be served as ordered by the court;

(B) a party in default for any reason other than for failure to appear must be served as provided in paragraph (a)(1);

(C) a party in default for any reason must be served with notice of any hearing to determine the amount of damages to be entered against the defaulting party;

(D) a party in default for any reason must be served with notice of entry of judgment under Rule 58A(g); and

(E) a party in default for any reason must be served under Rule 4 with pleadings asserting new or additional claims for relief against the party.

(3) Service in actions begun by seizing property. If an action is begun by seizing property and no person is or need be named as defendant, any service required before the filing of an answer, claim or appearance must be made upon the person who had custody or possession of the property when it was seized.

(b) How service is made.

(1) Whom to serve. If a party is represented by an attorney, a paper served under this rule must be served upon the attorney unless the court orders service upon the party. Service must be made upon the attorney and the party if:

(A) an attorney has filed a Notice of Limited Appearance under Rule 75 and the papers being served relate to a matter within the scope of the Notice; or

(B) a final judgment has been entered in the action and more than 90 days has elapsed from the date a paper was last served on the attorney.

(2) When to serve. If a hearing is scheduled 7 days or less from the date of service, a party must serve a paper related to the hearing by the method most likely to be promptly received. Otherwise, a paper that is filed with the court must be served before or on the same day that it is filed.

(3) Methods of service. A paper is served under this rule by:

(A) except in the juvenile court, submitting it for electronic filing, or the court submitting it to the electronic filing service provider, if the person being served has an electronic filing account;

(B) emailing it to

(i) the most recent email address provided by the person to the court under Rule 10(a)(3) or Rule 76, or

(ii) to the email address on file with the Utah State Bar;

(C) mailing it to the person’s last known address;

(D) handing it to the person;

(E) leaving it at the person’s office with a person in charge or, if no one is in charge, leaving it in a receptacle intended for receiving deliveries or in a conspicuous place;

(F) leaving it at the person’s dwelling house or usual place of abode with a person of suitable age and discretion who resides there; or

(G) any other method agreed to in writing by the parties.

(4) When service is effective. Service by mail or electronic means is complete upon sending.

(5) Who serves. Unless otherwise directed by the court or these rules:

(A) every paper required to be served must be served by the party preparing it; and

(B) every paper prepared by the court will be served by the court.

(c) Serving numerous defendants. If an action involves an unusually large number of defendants, the court, upon motion or its own initiative, may order that:

(1) a defendant’s pleadings and replies to them do not need to be served on the other defendants;

(2) any cross-claim, counterclaim avoidance or affirmative defense in a defendant’s pleadings and replies to them are deemed denied or avoided by all other parties;

(3) filing a defendant’s pleadings and serving them on the plaintiff constitutes notice of them to all other parties; and

(4) a copy of the order must be served upon the parties.

(d) Certificate of service. A paper required by this rule to be served, including electronically filed papers, must include a signed certificate of service showing the name of the document served, the date and manner of service and on whom it was served. Except in the juvenile court, this paragraph does not apply to papers required to be served under paragraph (b)(5)(B)when service to all parties is made under paragraph (b)(3)(A).

(e) Filing. Except as provided in Rule 7(j) and Rule 26(f), all papers after the complaint that are required to be served must be filed with the court. Parties with an electronic filing account must file a paper electronically. A party without an electronic filing account may file a paper by delivering it to the clerk of the court or to a judge of the court. Filing is complete upon the earliest of acceptance by the electronic filing system, the clerk of court or the judge.

(f) Filing an affidavit or declaration.If a person files an affidavit or declaration, the filer may:

(1) electronically file the original affidavit with a notary acknowledgment as provided by Utah Code Section 46-1-16(7);

(2) electronically file a scanned image of the affidavit or declaration;

(3) electronically file the affidavit or declaration with a conformed signature; or

(4) if the filer does not have an electronic filing account, present the original affidavit or declaration to the clerk of the court, and the clerk will electronically file a scanned image and return the original to the filer.

The filer must keep an original affidavit or declaration of anyone other than the filer safe and available for inspection upon request until the action is concluded, including any appeal or until the time in which to appeal has expired.

Advisory Committee Notes

Note adopted 2015

Under paragraph (b)(3)(A), electronically filing a document has the effect of serving the document on lawyers who have an e‑filing account. (Lawyers representing parties in the district court are required to have an account and electronically file documents. Code of Judicial Administration Rule 4‑503.) The 2015 amendment excepts from this provision documents electronically filed in juvenile court.

Although electronic filing in the juvenile court presents to the parties the documents that have been filed, the juvenile court e‑filing application (CARE), unlike that in the district court, does not deliver an email alerting the party to that fact. The Board of Juvenile Court Judges and the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Juvenile Procedure believe this difference renders electronic filing alone insufficient notice of a document having been filed. So in the juvenile court, a party electronically filing a document must serve that document by one of the other permitted methods.

The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.

Page Last modified: 3/29/2022

Return to the top of the page Return to Top

Facebook YouTube Twitter RSS

Close ×