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Legal Definition and Related Resources of Service

Meaning of Service

A term of varied and flexible meaning, depending upon the context. In feudal law, it was that duty which a tenant by reason of his estate owed his lord. In practise , the service of a writ or other document on a person means the delivery of the writ or other document to a person who is thereby officially notified of a legal proceeding or some step in the same. Assistance or benefit afforded another. Any branch of the Armed Forces. A formal and public exercise of worship . A ritual or ceremony prescribed for a particular occasion such as a marriage service. Duty or work rendered by one person as an employee to another, his master .

Service Alternative Definition

In Feudal Law. That duty which the tenant owed to his lord by reason of his fee or estate. The services, in respect of their quality, were either free or base, and in respect of their quantity, and the time of exacting them, were either certain or uncertain. 2 Bl. Comm. 62. In Civil Law. A servitude. In Practice. The execution of a writ or process. Thus, to serve a writ of capias signifies to arrest a defendant under the process (Kirby [Conn.] 48; 2 Aik. [Vt.] 338; 11 Mass. 181) ; to serve a summons is to deliver a copy of it at the house, of the party, or to deliver it to him personally, or to read it to him. Notices and other papers are served by delivering the same at the house of the party, or to him in person. Service of process is either (1) actual, or (2) constructive; constructive service being such as is by law conclusively presumed to give notice, e. g., by publication or posting. Actual service is either (a) personal, by actual delivery of the process to the person to be served, or (b) substituted, being by such a disposition as the law deems to be the equivalent of personal service, e. g., by leaving at his dwelling house. When the service of a writ is prevented by the act of the party on whom it is to be served, it will, in general, he sufficient if the oflScer do everything in his power to serve it. 1 Man. & G. 238.

Legal Definition of Service

The process by which court documents are formally sent to the parties concerned.

Synonyms of Service

(Assistance), noun

  • abetment
  • accommodation
  • advice
  • aid
  • attendance
  • backing
  • benefit
  • care
  • cooperation
  • favor
  • guidance
  • help
  • helping hand
  • ministerium
  • ministration
  • opera
  • relief
  • succor
  • support
  • useful office
  • usefulness Associated Concepts: essential service
  • professional service
  • public service
  • service contract
  • service mark

(Delivery of legal process), noun

  • commencement of an action
  • delivery of a writ
  • delivery of process
  • handing over legal papers
  • institution of proceedings
  • notification of legal action Associated Concepts: actual service of process
  • constructive service of process
  • personal service
  • service by mail
  • service by publication
  • service of notice
  • service of subpoena
  • service of summons
  • service rendered
  • special service
  • substituted service of process

Related Entries of Service in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Service in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Service in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Service in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Service in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Abode, Affidavit Of Service, Archery, Bribery, Chief, Church, Clearance Card, Compensate, Compensation, Complete, Conscription, Contract Of Adhesion, Cornage, Covenant, , Desertion, , Disparagement, Elisor, Employ, Extended-area Service, F.M.C.S., Facility, Finance Charge, Frustration, Gavelkind, Homage, Honorable Discharge, Immovable, , Inverse Condemnation, Judgment In Personam, Judgment Nihil Dicit, Jurisdiction Of The Person, Just Cause, Labor, Letter, Long Arm Statutes, Mail Classification, Mail Fraud, Manor, Master And Servant, Merit, Military Tenure, Monopoly, Motel, Necessaries, Nuncupative Will, Office, Palming Off, Parcel, Pensioner, Permanent, Pioneer, Preference Eligible, Privity, Public Utility, Quasi Judicial, Railroad, Railway, , Rate Base, Ready, Religion, Residence, Retire, Salary, Salvage, Salvage Service, Skip-tracing Agency, Socage, Special Agent, Sponsor, Student, Substituted Service, Suit Of Court, Supervisor, Telex, , Tonnage Duty, Towage.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Service in the Dictionary Service in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Service
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Service in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Service is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


Resource Description
Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Service (more about URIs)

English Spanish Translation of Service

Diligenciamiento, notificación, entrega (e.g., of a subpoena)

Find other English to Spanish translations from the Pocket Spanish English Legal Dictionary (print and online), the English to Spanish to English dictionaries (like Service) and the Word reference legal translator.

Etimology of Service

(You may find service at the world legal encyclopedia and the etimology of more terms).

c. 1100, “celebration of public worship,” from Old French servise “act of homage; servitude; service at table; Mass, church ceremony,” from Latin servitium “slavery, condition of a slave, servitude,” also “slaves collectively,” from servus “slave” (see serve (verb)). Meaning “act of serving, occupation of an attendant servant” is attested from c. 1200, as is that of “assistance, help; a helpful act.” From c. 1300 as “provision of food; sequence of dishes served in a meal;” from late 14c. as “service at table, attendance during a meal.” Meaning “the furniture of the table” (tea service, etc.) is from mid-15c. Meanings “state of being bound to undertake tasks for someone or at someone’s direction; labor performed or undertaken for another” are mid-13c. Sense of “service or employment in a court or administration” is from c. 1300, as is that of “military service (especially by a knight); employment as a soldier;” hence “the military as an occupation” (1706). Also in Middle English “sexual intercourse, conjugal relations” (mid-15c.; service of Venus, or flesh’s service). Service industry (as distinct from production) attested from 1938. A service station originally was a gas stop that also repaired cars.


See Also

  • Law Dictionaries.
  • Feudalism; Service of Process.
  • Service in Law Enforcement

    Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of service.


    See Also

    • Law Enforcement Officer
    • Police
    • Law Enforcement Agency

    Further Reading

    Meaning of Service in the U.S. Legal System

    Definition of Service published by the National Association for Court Management: The delivery of a legal document, such as a complaint, summons, or subpoena, notifying a person of a lawsuit or other legal action taken against him or her. Service, which constitutes formal legal notice, must be made by an officially authorized person in accordance with the formal requirements of the applicable laws.

    Legal Usage of Service in English

    An European Commission document offers the following explanation about the misused of Service :At the Commission (but not usually at the Court), the term ‘service’ is widely used with a meaning akin to ‘department’, which causes confusion for the casual reader of the Commission intranet, where the word is used indifferently to mean both ‘department’ and ‘service’. ‘Service’ is not the generic term for ‘department’ in English, although it is indeed used in the names of a few government departments, especially when they offer a service (e.g. the ‘Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service’, or the ‘passport service’). The first example below shows that it is also misused in European Union texts to mean ‘the staff of’. In the second example, it is superfluous (‘In agreement with the Commission’), though some might argue that it serves to emphasise a distinction between the institution itself (or its members) and its staff. However, there is usually no need to make this distinction explicit in English as the precise meaning is usually clear from the context.

    Examples ‘For the financial year 2007, the services of the Commission’s Accounting Officer carried out a follow-up of the previous year’s findings147.’ ‘In agreement with the services of the Commission, the group may set up subgroups to examine specific questions on the basis of the terms of reference defined by the group. Such subgroups shall be disbanded as soon as their mandate is fulfilled148.’


    ‘The services of the Commission/Court etc.’ can usually be reduced to ‘the Commission/ Court etc.’ If you really need to avoid ambiguity (was it the staff or the Commission itself?), you can say ‘the Commission’s staff’ or ‘the Commission’s XYZ department’.


    Further Reading

    • David Mellinkoff, “Mellinkoff’s Dictionary of American Legal Usage”, West Publishing Company, 1992
    • Bryan A. Garner, “A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage”, West Publishing Company, 1995

    Concept of Service in the context of Real Property

    A short definition of Service: Notice given to one by delivery of a writ, subpoena, injunction, etc., by one duly authorized, giving notice to the person served of some court action or other proceeding with which he or she is involved (as defendant, witness, etc.

    Concept of Service in the context of Real Property

    A short definition of Service: Notice given to one by delivery of a writ, subpoena, injunction, etc., by one duly authorized, giving notice to the person served of some court action or other proceeding with which he or she is involved (as defendant, witness, etc.




    Hierarchical Display of Service

    Trade > Consumption > Goods and services
    Business And Competition > Business classification > Branch of activity > Services company
    Economics > Economic structure > Economic sector > Tertiary sector
    Employment And Working Conditions > Employment > Employment policy > EU employment policy > Freedom to provide services
    Trade > Marketing > Commercial transaction > Provision of services

    Meaning of Service

    Overview and more information about Service

    For a more comprehensive understanding of Service, see in the general part of the online platform.[rtbs name=”xxx-xxx”]


    Translation of Service

    Thesaurus of Service

    Trade > Consumption > Goods and services > Service
    Business And Competition > Business classification > Branch of activity > Services company > Service
    Economics > Economic structure > Economic sector > Tertiary sector > Service
    Employment And Working Conditions > Employment > Employment policy > EU employment policy > Freedom to provide services > Service
    Trade > Marketing > Commercial transaction > Provision of services > Service

    See also


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