(a) Service — When required. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, every order required by its terms to be served, every pleading subsequent to the original complaint unless the court otherwise orders because of numerous defendants, every written motion other than one which may be heard ex parte, and every written notice, appearance, demand, offer of judgment, and similar paper shall be served upon each of the parties. However, the failure of a party to file pleadings in an action shall be deemed to be a waiver by him or her of all notices, including notices of time and place of trial and entry of judgment, and all service in the action, except service of pleadings asserting new or additional claims for relief, which shall be served as provided by subsection (b) of this Code section.
(b) Same — How made. Whenever under this chapter service is required or permitted to be made upon a party represented by an attorney, the service shall be made upon the attorney unless service upon the party is ordered by the court. Service upon the attorney or upon a party shall be made by delivering a copy to the person to be served or by mailing it to the person to be served at the person’s last known address or, if no address is known, by leaving it with the clerk of the court. As used in this Code section, the term “delivery of a copy” means handing it to the person to be served or leaving it at the person to be served’s office with a person in charge thereof or, if such office is closed or the person to be served has no office, leaving it at the person to be served’s dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion residing therein. “Delivery of a copy” also means transmitting a copy via e-mail in portable document format (PDF) to the person to be served using all e-mail addresses provided pursuant to subsection (f) of this Code section and showing in the subject line of the e-mail message the words “STATUTORY ELECTRONIC SERVICE” in capital letters. Service by mail is complete upon mailing. Proof of service may be made by certificate of an attorney or of his or her employee, by written admission, by affidavit, or by other proof satisfactory to the court. Failure to make proof of service shall not affect the validity of service.
(c) Same — Numerous defendants. In any action in which there are unusually large numbers of defendants, the court, upon motion or of its own initiative, may order that service of the pleadings of the defendants and replies thereto need not be made as between the defendants, and that any cross-claim, counterclaim, or matter constituting an avoidance or affirmative defense contained therein shall be deemed to be denied or avoided by all other parties, and that the filing of any such pleading and service thereof upon the plaintiff constitutes due notice of it to the parties. A copy of every such order shall be served upon the parties in such manner and form as the court directs.
(d) Filing. All papers after the complaint required to be served upon a party shall be filed with the court within the time allowed for service.
(e) “Filing with the court” defined. The filing of pleadings and other papers with the court as required by this chapter shall be made by filing them with the clerk of the court, except that the judge may permit the papers to be filed with him, in which event he shall note thereon the filing date and forthwith transmit them to the office of the clerk.
(f) Electronic service of pleadings.
(1) A person to be served may consent to being served with pleadings electronically by:
(A) Filing a notice of consent to electronic service and including the person to be served’s e-mail address or addresses in such pleading; or
(B) Including the person to be served’s e-mail address or addresses in or below the signature block of the complaint or answer, as applicable to the person to be served.
(2) A person to be served may rescind his or her election to be served with pleadings electronically by filing and serving a notice of such rescission.
(3) If a person to be served agrees to electronic service of pleadings, such person to be served bears the responsibility of providing notice of any change in his or her e-mail address or addresses.
(4) If electronic service of a pleading is made upon a person to be served, and such person certifies to the court under oath that he or she did not receive such pleading, it shall be presumed that such pleading was not received unless the serving party disputes the assertion of nonservice, in which case the court shall decide the issue of service of such pleading.