Service of Lawsuit and Subpoena

Service of Lawsuit

Personnel on California State University campuses lack authority to accept service of a lawsuit (i.e., a summons and complaint) upon the California State University or the campus. It makes no difference whether the lawsuit names the California State University as a defendant, or the Board of Trustees, or an individual campus.

Process servers must accomplish service at the Office of General Counsel, California State University, 401 Golden Shore, Fourth Floor, Long Beach, CA 90802-4210. For further instructions please visit the Office of General Counsel's website.

Campus presidents may accept service on their own behalves, or may refer the process server to the Office of General Counsel. Other individually named defendants in a lawsuit must be served where they are located. Process servers must never be provided with an employee's home address or other personal information. If campus personnel have any questions, they should be directed to the University Counsel.

Service of Subpoenas

In most instances, a subpoena must be personally served on the witness required to appear. A demand for the payment of witness fees should always be made at the time of service.

A subpoena for CSU business records must be served on the person with responsibility for the records, wherever the records are found. Typically, such subpoenas are addressed to a "Custodian of Records". A demand for the payment of witness fees should also always be made at the time of service of the subpoena. Student records may have certain privacy protections in the law and the student may have the desire to seek an order to quash. Please consult with University Counsel