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Lawsuits: Summons and Complaints

Learn what to do if someone attempts to serve you with a Summons and Complaint in your capacity as a UC San Diego employee.

  • Are you in the right place? Guidelines for serving, accepting, and responding to subpoenas can be found on the Accepting Service of Subpoenas page.

What is a "Summons and Complaint"?

When someone names an employee or the university as a defendant in a lawsuit, the defendant will be served a Summons and Complaint.

A Summons and Complaint is a document that begins a civil action and notifies the named defendant(s) of legal action being filed against them. It can be served in person or via registered mail.

Do not accept service for UC

If the university (generally identified as the Regents of the University of California) is the named defendant, DO NOT accept service. Inform the server that you are not authorized to accept service and refer the server to the Office of the President, General Counsel in Oakland.

If an individual is the named defendant, only that person or an authorized designee can accept service.

Notify Risk Management

Whether or not you accept, always notify Risk Management immediately, (858) 246-1857, or via emergency pager, (858) 583-3286, when someone attempts to serve a Summons and Complaint.

Risk Management will coordinate with named defendants and appropriate legal counsel to ensure compliance. Defendants must respond within an allotted time, generally 20 to 30 days from when the first defendant is properly served.

Related regulations and policies

  • PPM 470-1, UCSD Guidelines for Serving, Accepting and Responding to Subpoenas
  • RMP-10, Instructions for Responding to Subpoena, UC Business and Financial Bulletin