A process server is a dedicated judicial services professional who specializes in delivering legal process to their intended recipients.
Process service is an important facet of any legal proceeding and also a good way for private investigators to supplement their case assignments and bolster their income.
Service of legal documents can act as a dedicated career path, but is also a great additional service that can be provided by investigators in virtually any niche of the detective arts.
This resource section thoroughly details legal process service and how investigators can capitalize on this lucrative business opportunity.
What is a Process Server?
Legal document servers are people responsible for delivering official papers, such as summonses, subpoenas, writs, judgments, affidavits and orders for the court system, attorneys and parties to a litigation.
Every region has its own regulations regarding who can act as a legal document server and what credentials they must maintain, in order to work in this industry.
Most jurisdictions require servers of legal process to be licensed, while all maintain other standard personal criteria.
Before even thinking of working as a process delivery agent, it is crucial to fully understand and comply with the laws which are in effect in your area, regarding the regulations pertaining to proper and legal service.
Failure to comply with the correct procedures and criteria may make service null and void, causing potentially huge problematic ramifications for you and your client.
Legal Document Server Topics
Process Server Criteria
While all jurisdictions maintain their own distinct rules for process service, there are some criteria which are commonly held:
Process delivery agents may have to be licensed. This may require testing, fingerprinting or a background check to be completed prior to licensure.
Servers must be over 18 years of age.
Servers must not be a party to the action.
Process deliverers must sign a notarized affidavit upon completion of service detailing how, when, where and to whom the documents were delivered. This affidavit is a legal document and must be filed with the court of jurisdiction.
Process Server Conclusion
Process service, as an industry, has a bad reputation and servers generally have many myths revolving around their line of work.
The fact is that most citizens do not understand process service and are generally mistaken by thinking they can avoid service or deny being served.
Papers do not have to touch people physically in order to enact proper and binding service. Running or hiding from a server will typically result in an escalation of tactics used to enact proper service, including surveillance, trailing, skip tracing or full background checks.
Basically, if a server wants to find you, they will. The harder you make it on them, they harder they will make it on you, if and when they get the opportunity.
It is always a better idea to play nice and simply accept service willingly. Give the papers to your attorney and let them fight for you.
For more information about hiring, or becoming, a legal document server, contact a private investigation agency or a local courthouse.