The Secretary of State serves summonses on non-residents under KRS 454.210 (the long-arm statute), KRS 188.020 (the non-resident motorist statute) and KRS 304.3-230 (the foreign insurers statute). The service of process agent for a foreign entity authorized to do business in Kentucky is the entity's registered agent, not the Secretary of State. However, under KRS 14A.9-060 and KRS 14A.9-080, the Secretary of State does serve as the agent for service of process for foreign inactive entities. State agencies are served through the Attorney General's office, not the Secretary of State.
To have the Secretary of State serve a summons, you must send the following to the Secretary of State's office via certified mail:
- 2 copies of the signed and dated summons;
- 2 copies of the complaint attested (stamped certified that it is a true copy) by the court clerk;
- the proper fee ($10 per defendant is service is by certified mail or registered mail or $15.15 per defendant if service is by restricted certified mail); and
- an address for each defendant being served.
Pursuant to KRS 453.190 and KRS 403.740, there is no fee for serving emergency protective orders or for petitioners proceeding in forma pauperis who submit proper documentation, signed by the judge, of pauper status.
Questions regarding summonses should be directed to your attorney, the attorney who filed the lawsuit or the court or administrative agency in which the lawsuit was filed. Responsive pleadings should be filed with the clerk of the court or agency where the lawsuit was filed and service directly on the opposing party or their attorney. You do not need to send copies of any future pleadings to the Secretary of State's Office, unless you wish for this office to serve the pleading under a particular statute or rule and pay for the service. The Secretary of State's Office has no power to make a legal disposition of the case.
You can search summonses filed after January 1, 2009, on this website.
For further information regarding the Secretary of State's summons services, please contact the Summons Branch:
- phone: (502) 564-3490
- fax: (502) 564-5687
- mail to: Office of the Secretary of State
700 Capital Ave., Ste. 86
Frankfort, KY 40601
The Office of the Secretary of State is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.