A. In an action pending in general district court or circuit court, the plaintiff may notify a defendant of the commencement of the action and request that the defendant waive service of process as provided in subsection B. Any person subject to service as set forth in § 8.01-296, 8.01-299, §§ 8.01-301 through 8.01-306 or § 8.01-320, with the exception of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission, who receives actual notice of an action in the manner provided in this section, has a duty to avoid any unnecessary costs of serving process.
1. Be in writing and shall be addressed directly to the defendant, if an individual, or else to an officer, director or registered agent authorized by appointment or law to receive service of process of a defendant subject to service under § 8.01-299, §§ 8.01-301 through 8.01-306 or § 8.01-320;
6. Allow the defendant a reasonable time to return the waiver, which shall be no more than 30 days from the date on which the request is sent, or 60 days from that date if the defendant’s address is outside the Commonwealth; and
7. Provide the defendant with an extra copy of the notice and request, as well as a prepaid means of compliance in writing.If a defendant fails to comply with a request for waiver made by a plaintiff, the court shall impose the costs subsequently incurred in effecting service on the defendant unless good cause for the failure is shown.
C. A defendant that, before being served with process, timely returns a waiver so requested is not required to serve a grounds of defense or other responsive pleading to the motion for judgment or other initial pleading until 60 days after the date on which the request for waiver of service was sent, or 90 days after that date if the defendant’s address was outside the Commonwealth.
D. When the plaintiff files a waiver of service with the court, the action shall proceed as if a notice and motion for judgment or other initial pleading had been served at the time of filing the waiver, and no proof of service shall be required.
E. The costs to be imposed on a defendant for failure to comply with a request to waive service of a summons shall include the costs subsequently incurred in effecting service under § 8.01-299, §§ 8.01-301 through 8.01-306 or § 8.01-320, together with the costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, of any motion required to collect the costs of service. This provision does not apply to the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Secretary of the Commonwealth or the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission.
F. A defendant who waives service of process pursuant to this section does not thereby waive any objection to the venue or to the jurisdiction of the court over the person of that defendant, or to any other defense or objection other than objections based on inadequacy of process or service of process.
2005, c. 866; 2011, c. 766.