Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary

Acceptance Of Service

Agreement by a defendant or the defendant's attorney to accept a complaint or other petition (like divorce papers) without having the sheriff or process server show up at the door (often, the papers are received by mail). Most states use a form entitled Receipt and Acknowledgment of Acceptance of Service (or similar language), which the person who is served signs, dates, and sends back to the attorney who sent the complaint or petition. Attorneys must be careful that they have written legal authority from clients to receive papers on their behalf. (See also: service)