Service of Process, Subpoenas, and Small Claims Actions
Service of Summonses and Complaints
CSU is the State of California acting in its higher education capacity.
CSU is governed by the Board of Trustees of the California State University,
which is the only proper entity to be named in a civil suit. Individual
campuses are not separate legal entities, and cannot appear as parties in
The Board of Trustees of the California State University may only be served
at CSU's Office of General Counsel or through the Office of the Attorney
General of the State of California Department of Justice.
The Office of General Counsel is authorized to accept service of process on
behalf of the Board of Trustees, individually named Trustees, the Chancellor,
and/or the campus Presidents by either personal service or mail service by
notice and acknowledgement of receipt in state court actions (Code Civ. Proc.
§ 415.3) or waiver of service in federal court actions (FRCP 4(d)). The
Office of the Attorney General can accept personal service on behalf of the
Board of Trustees, but not any individually named defendants. CSU campuses
are not authorized to accept service of process on behalf of these parties.
Other than the parties listed above, all other individuals associated with
CSU must be served wherever they are located as provided by the appropriate
Service of Subpoenas
A subpoena for the personal appearance of a CSU witness must be served on that
witness as provided by the appropriate statute.
A subpoena for CSU business records must be personally served on the custodian
of records wherever the records are located within CSU. The Office of General
Counsel does not accept service of subpoenas for records other than its own.
Small Claims Actions
Papers relating to small claims actions may be delivered to the involved
campus and do not have to be served at the Office of General Counsel. These
papers should be delivered to the head of the department involved in the