How much time do I have to serve a summons?

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Answer: 

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - Rule 4(m) Time Limit for Service.

If service of the summons and complaint is not made upon a defendant within 120 days after the filing of the complaint, the court, upon motion or on its own initiative after notice to the plaintiff, shall dismiss the action without prejudice as to that defendant or direct that service be effected within a specified time; provided that if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court shall extend the time for service for an appropriate period. This subdivision does not apply to service in a foreign country pursuant to subdivision (f) or (j)(1). A summons for each defendant (excluding fictitious parties) in civil actions can be submitted for issuance after receiving notice confirming a civil case number and judge assignment. Attach the summons to the "Summons Submitted" event located in the "Service of Process" category. The Clerk will issue each summons and return them to the filer electronically.

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