Accepting Service

An OGC attorney may accept service, properly made on behalf of the University.

If you are not an attorney employed by the Office of the General Counsel, you should not accept legal service for Howard University.  

If a process server asks you to accept any of the following documents on behalf of the University, you should:

  • DeclineDo not accept any document the process server tries to hand you.
  • Direct the process server to the Office of the General Counsel.

If you receive any of these documents in the mail:

  • note the date and time of receipt of the envelope,
  • keep the envelope and certified mail receipt (if applicable), and
  • contact OGC immediately at 202-806-2650.

On occasion, a process server may come to your workplace to deliver a legal document directly to a University employee involved in a personal legal matter. Howard University does not facilitate service of process on individuals in their individual capacity. However, we may not able to prevent a process server from attempting such service. (The Office of the General Counsel does accept court ordered wage garnishments, which are a separate matter.)

If the process server ignores your refusal  to accept service, call OGC and ask for an attorney to speak with the process server. Our attorney will determine whether or not you may accept service.

If served, contact us immediately.  Please bear in mind that a delay in responding to these documents can have serious legal consequences. Therefore, if you mistakenly accept such documents from a process server, contact OGC immediately.

Standard Documents


A subpoena requires a person or institution to provide testimony and/or documents as part of a legal proceeding, such as a deposition, trial, or investigation.

Summons and Complaint

A summons and complaint serve as notice that a lawsuit has been filed against a person or institution.

Wage Garnishment or Attachment

A wage garnishment or attachment requires an employer to withhold some portion of an employee┬╣s wages so that the funds can be applied to a monetary obligation, such as child support.