OHIO RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 4.1(A): The Ohio Supreme Court has recently amended the process for how suits can be served upon a defendant. Effective July 1, 2012, clerks of court may make service of process using commercial carrier services as an alternative to United States Certified Mail or Express Mail. The commercial carrier must receive a signed receipt and return it to the clerk of court for acceptance to be effective.

OHIO RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 4.6(C): In addition, the Ohio Supreme Court amended the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure to clarify how a defendant can effectively refuse service through Certified Mail, Express Mail, and commercial carrier service. The table below describes the method to either accept or refuse service of process according to the amended rules.

Please click here to view table.


  • Instruct staff members that as of July 1, 2012, service of process can now come through commercial carrier services like UPS or FedEx.
  • Keep in mind service of process may still be made by United States Certified Mail or Express Mail.
  • Consult the table to ensure that the method of acceptance or refusal is proper.
  • If the envelope is marked “refused,” it will be returned to the clerk of courts and if instructed by the serving party, the clerk will reserve by ordinary mail. Good service is then effective upon mailing regardless of whether the ordinary mail envelope is later returned for any reason.