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How much does it cost to serve the defendant?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed March 2020

Serving court papers on the defendant costs money.

  • The court charges $5 for the summons they give you.
  • A sheriff or constable charges $35-$40.
  • If you need to serve by publication, the newspaper will charge you to publish the summons. Newspapers in the United States charge up to $100. Newspapers outside the US charge up to $200.

If you cannot afford these costs, file an Affidavit of Indigency.

If the court approves your Affidavit of Indigency, you will not have to pay to serve the defendant.

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