(a) Filing of notice
Whoever, having been a candidate for election in the last preceding election and claiming a right to such office, intends to contest the election of a Member of the House of Representatives, shall, within thirty days after the result of such election shall have been declared by the officer or Board of Canvassers authorized by law to declare such result, file with the Clerk and serve upon the contestee written notice of his intention to contest such election.
(b) Contents and form of notice
Such notice shall state with particularity the grounds upon which contestant contests the election and shall state that an answer thereto must be served upon contestant under section 383 of this title within thirty days after service of such notice. Such notice shall be signed by contestant and verified by his oath or affirmation.
(c) Service of notice; proof of service
Service of the notice of contest upon contestee shall be made as follows:
(1) by delivering a copy to him personally;
(2) by leaving a copy at his dwelling house or usual place of abode with a person of discretion not less than sixteen years of age then residing therein;
(3) by leaving a copy at his principal office or place of business with some person then in charge thereof;
(4) by delivering a copy to an agent authorized by appointment to receive service of such notice;
(5) by mailing a copy by registered or certified mail addressed to contestee at his residence or principal office or place of business. Service by mail is complete upon mailing; or
(6) the verified return by the person so serving such notice, setting forth the time and manner of such service shall be proof of same, and the return post office receipt shall be proof of the service of said notice mailed by registered or certified mail as aforesaid. Proof of service shall be made to the Clerk promptly and in any event within the time during which the contestee must answer the notice of contest. Failure to make proof of service does not affect the validity of the service.
AMENDMENTS 1996—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–186, §211(3)(A), struck out "to the House of Representatives" after "for election". Subsec. (c)(4), (5). Pub. L. 104–186, §211(3)(B), struck out "or" at end of par. (4) and inserted "or" at end of par. (5).EFFECTIVE DATE Section applicable with respect to any general or special election for Representative in, or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress of the United States occurring after Dec. 5, 1969, see section 19 of Pub. L. 91–138, set out as a note under section 381 of this title.
2 U.S.C. § 382 (2018)