Q How Much Time Do I Have to Accomplish Service of Process of the Summons and Complaint After the Lawsuit is Filed?
In Idaho, a plaintiff has only 180 days from the commencement of a lawsuit in which to effectuate service of process of the summons and complaint. Failure to serve a summons and complaint upon a defendant within 180 days from the date the lawsuit was filed, absent exigent circumstances, would require the court to dismiss the lawsuit without prejudice, i.e., the plaintiff would be able to refile the suit thereafter so long as the statute of limitation has not expired.
In the case where an order of dismissal occurs after the statute of limitations has expired, the dismissal would be deemed "with prejudice," i.e., the plaintiff would not be able to refile the lawsuit against the party dismissed from the lawsuit.
Therefore, it is a wise practice to have a process server attempt service of process upon the defendant as soon as possible immediately after the complaint has been filed.
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