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Any duty or labor performed for another person.

The delivery of a legal document that notifies the recipient of the commencement of a legal action or proceeding in which he or she is involved.

The term service has various meanings, depending upon the context of the word.

Under feudal law, tenants had a duty to render service to their lords in exchange for use of the land. The service required could take many forms: monetary payments, farm products, loyalty, attendance upon the lord as an armed horseman, carrying the king's banner, providing a sword or a lance, or plowing or other farm labor done for the king.

In contract law, service refers to an act or deed, rather than property. It is a duty or labor done by a laborer under the direction and control of the one for whom the service is performed. The term implies that the recipient of the service selects and compensates the laborer. It is the occupation, condition, or status of being a servant and often describes every kind of employment relationship. In addition, service may be used to denote employment for the government, as in the terms civil service, military service or the armed service, or public service.

In the area of domestic relations, the term refers to the uncompensated work, guidance, and upkeep an injured or deceased family member previously provided for the family; the injury or death of the provider of these services means that the work will have to be obtained from another source and at a price. In this context the term traditionally was restricted to the "services" of a wife under the theory that the husband's duty was to provide support and the wife's duty was to provide service. After injury to his wife, a husband could bring an action on his own behalf against the responsible party for compensation of the loss of her aid, assistance, comfort, and society. The modern view holds that a wife may also sue for the loss of assistance and society of her husband.

Service also means the delivery of a writ, summons and complaint, criminal summons, or other notice or order by an authorized server upon another. Proper service thereby provides official notification that a legal action or proceeding against an individual has been commenced.


Feudalism; Service of Process.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. 1) paid work by another person, either by contract or as an employee. "Personal services" is work that is either unique (such as an artist or actor) or based on a person's particular relationship to employer (such as a butler, nanny, traveling companion or live-in health care giver). 2) the domestic activities of a wife, including the marital relationship (consortium), are legally considered "services" for which a deprived husband may sue a person who has caused injury to his wife. 3) the official delivery of legal documents ("service of process") such as a summons, subpena, complaint, order to show cause (order to appear to show reasons why a judge should not make a particular order), writ (court order), or notice to quit the premises, as well as delivery by mail or in person of documents to opposing attorneys or parties, such as answers, motions, points and authorities, demands and responses. (See: employment, personal services, loss of consortium, service of process)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

SERVICE, contracts. The being employed to serve another.
     2. In cases of seduction, the gist of the action is not injury which the seducer has inflicted on the parent by destroying his peace of mind, and the reputation of his child, but for the consequent inability to perform those services for which she was accountable to her master or her parent who assumes this character for the purpose Vide Seduction, and 2 Mees. & W. 539; 7 Car. & P. 528.

SERVICE, feudal law. That duty which the tenant owes to his lord, by reason of his fee or estate.
     2. 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. Com. 62.
     3. In the civil law by service is sometimes understood servitude. (q.v.)

SERVICE, practice. To execute a writ or process; as, to serve a writ of capias signifies to arrest a defendant under the process; Kirby, 48; 2 Aik. R. 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.
     2. 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, be sufficient if the officer do everything in his power to serve it. 39 Eng. C. L. R. 431 1 M. & G. 238.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
His example saw service with the 223 Independent Brigade, which later became the 3rd Para Brigade, but Fordson trucks were also used by Britain's allies, such as the Canadian troops at the Arnhem bridge, pictured right.
A LANDING craft which saw service in the liberation of the Falkland Islands in 1982 is to take pride of place at Liverpool's Brunswick Dock.
They include the 1914-15 Star ( awarded to those who saw service between August 5, 1914 and December 31, 1915; the British War Medal ( introduced in 1919 to mark the end of the First World War and record the service given, and the Victory Medal ( issued in 1919 to commemorate the victory of the Allies.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (right) - who also saw service in the German army - is nicknamed The Panzer Cardinal and God's Rottweiler because of his rigorous defence of the faith.
As a Royal Marine he saw service in several Second World War fields of conflict and then worked as a stores manager at Smart and Brown, later renamed Thorn EMI, at Spennymoor.
Like many others I saw service in both theatres and I think it is an insult by a bunch of unpatriotic politicians to mark the end of the conflicts with one low-key affair on a day convenient to them so it doesn't interfere with their politicking and holidays.
WE have lost at least four colleagues who saw service during the last war: Stanley Lowe who served in the Parachute Regiment; Jim Smith ex-Royal Navy; Frank Drakeford, a former RAF aircrew member; and Charles Jones, a former Burma War veteran who also saw service in Dunkirk.
There were many developments of the Spitfire over the years but here we have the only survivor of the first production batch and one which saw service in the Second World War.'
From 1857 onwards the Gurkha regiments saw service in Burma, Afghanistan, the North-East and North-West Frontiers of India, Malta, Cyprus, Malaya, China and in various key battles in the First and Second World Wars.
He joined the Army as a teenager and saw service in Germany and other parts of Europe.
During his career Major Lawton saw service in Cyprus, Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Canada, Kenya, USA, Gibraltar and was also on more than a dozen tours of Northern Ireland, including two residential tours of two years each when his family went with him.
Murphy, who saw service at underage level in both codes with his native Cork, was introduced to the panel at training last night.