"Acceptance of Service and Waiver" Form
The attorney for the plaintiff in a domestic case may not make available to the defendant a form waiving the right to answer and other rights, nor may he allow his client to provide such a form to the defendant. ( But see RPC 165)
Attorney A practices domestic relations law inWakeCounty . The Clerk of the Domestic Courtroom for Wake County District Court has available a document entitled "Acceptance of Service and Waiver" which is frequently used for uncontested divorces. The form states that the defendant, or defendant's attorney, accepts service of the summons and acknowledges receipt of a copy or the summons and a copy of the complaint. The form further states that the defendant waives service by an officer and further waives the right to file an answer or any other pleadings, the right to be notified of the time and place of the trial of the action, and waives the right to trial by jury, and further agrees that the court may proceed immediately with the trial of the action in question.
In view of CPR's 121 and 125, may Attorney A representing a plaintiff in a divorce or other action ethically prepare this form and make it available to a defendant? May he do so only at the request of the defendant? May he allow his client, the plaintiff, to provide such a form to the defendant?
No. Attorney A may not send to or directly make available to a defendant the "Acceptance of Service and Waiver" form. To provide the form waiving the right to answer and to be notified of the date of trial has the same effect as providing an answer for the defendant. See CPR's 121 and 125. Similarly, Attorney A may not allow his client, the plaintiff, to provide such a form to the defendant. See CPR 125. Of course, Attorney A may send to defendant a form solely for acceptance of service. See CPR 121, Question 1.