Process of Service in Alabama

In Voltz v. Dyess, the Supreme Court ruled according to Ala. R. Civ. P. 4 and held that an action may not be dismissed for failure to effect service unless a plaintiff is given a 14-day notice. The Court noted that, standing alone, the plaintiff ’s lengthy delay might warrant dismissal for lack of service pursuant to Rule 41(b), Ala. R. Civ. P., permitting dismissal for failure to prosecute, but that the court did not dismiss the action pursuant to that rule. Under Rule 4(b), a failure to effect service within 120 days does not, alone, warrant summary dismissal absent at least 14 days’ notice.