Rule 3.  Commencement of Action

A civil action is commenced by filing a complaint with the court.

Rule 4. Summons

(a) Contents; Amendments.
    (1) Contents. A summons must:
        (A) name the court and the parties;
        (B) be directed to the defendant;
        (C) state the name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney or — if unrepresented — of the plaintiff;
        (D) state the time within which the defendant must appear and defend;
        (E) notify the defendant that a failure to appear and defend will result in a default judgment against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint;
        (F) be signed by the clerk; and
        (G) bear the court’s seal.
(2) Amendments. The court may permit a summons to be amended.

(b) Issuance.
On or after filing the complaint, the plaintiff may present a summons to the clerk for signature and seal. If the summons is properly completed, the clerk must sign, seal, and issue it to the plaintiff for service on the defendant. A summons — or a copy of a summons that is addressed to multiple defendants — must be issued for each defendant to be served.

(c) Service.
(1) In General. A summons must be served with a copy of the complaint. The plaintiff is responsible for having the summons and complaint served within the time allowed by Rule 4(m) and must furnish the necessary copies to the person who makes service.
(2) By Whom. Any person who is at least 18 years old and not a party may serve a summons and complaint.

(e) Serving an Individual Within a Judicial District of the United States.
Unless federal law provides otherwise, an individual — other than a minor, an incompetent person, or a person whose waiver has been filed — may be served in a judicial district of the United States by:
(1) following state law for serving a summons in an action brought in courts of general jurisdiction in the state where the district court is located or where service is made; or
(2) doing any of the following:
    (A) delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally;
    (B) leaving a copy of each at the individual’s dwelling or usual place of abode with someone of suitable age and discretion who resides there; or
    (C) delivering a copy of each to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process.


(h) Serving a Corporation, Partnership, or Association.
Unless federal law provides otherwise or the defendant’s waiver has been filed, a domestic or foreign corporation, or a partnership or other unincorporated association that is subject to suit under a common name, must be served:
(1) in a judicial district of the United States:
    (A) in the manner prescribed by Rule 4(e)(1) for serving an individual; or
    (B) by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an officer, a managing or general agent, or any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process and — if the agent is one authorized by statute and the statute so requires — by also mailing a copy of each to the defendant...


(l) Proving Service.
(1) Affidavit Required. Unless service is waived, proof of service must be made to the court. Except for service by a United States marshal or deputy marshal, proof must be by the server’s affidavit.

(m) Time Limit for Service.
If a defendant is not served within 90 days after the complaint is filed, the court — on motion or on its own after notice to the plaintiff — must dismiss the action without prejudice against that defendant or order that service be made within a specified time. But if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court must
extend the time for service for an appropriate period.. . . .

Rule 77. Conducting Business; Clerk’s Authority; Notice of an Order or Judgment
(a) When Court Is Open.
Every district court is considered always open for filing any paper, issuing and returning process, making a motion, or entering an order.