Process Serving Frequently Asked Questions
- What does process serving mean?
- Who can deliver court documents as a process server?
- What is involved in a legal process server job?
- Why should I use a local process server from ProcessServers.com?
- What is ServeManager?
- How much will it cost to get my papers served?
- How can I get documents to the process server?
- Where can a process server serve my documents to a defendant or target?
- How long will it take to have my papers served?
- What if the person who needs to be served does not want to be served or is hard to find?
- What if the person being served refuses to accept the papers?
- Will my papers be filed with the court by the process server?
- Do I really need to hire a process server?
- Does the process server I hire need to be licensed?
- What is an Affidavit of Service (or a Proof of Service)?
- Who is ProcessServers.com designed for?
What does process serving mean?
Service of process or process serving is a key part of what is known as the Due Process of Law. If any actions are taken against someone in a court of law, he or she must be notified of the fact under US law. Process service is the way that he or she is notified. A professional known as a process server will find this person and hand deliver court documents to them so that they are fully informed. Depending on the court case one is involved in, a process server may deliver subpoenas, summons, complaints, order to show cause, or writs.
Each state has its own process serving laws and rules that govern civil procedure. Process servers must follow these laws and rules in order to legally deliver court documents. In most cases, a process server must deliver documents to someone by hand. In cases where this is not possible, “substituted service” may be another option. In this legal process of service, court documents are left with management personnel at someone’s place of business or are left with an adult resident of someone’s home. If service can’t be perfected some states allow the service document to be published in a newspaper or other publication. In these instances, the process server also needs to send a copy of the documents via certified mail.
Who can deliver court documents as a process server?
When process service first became a part of the legal process, agents of the court, sheriffs, and deputies were responsible for delivering court documents. Since these professionals had other duties and obligations besides process service, the service of process became something of a burden. Legislation was written to allow more people to deliver court documents. In many states today, any US citizen 18 or older living in the state where a case is to be tried who is not a party to the particular case can serve court papers.
It is important to remember that each state has different laws governing service of process. Some states require process servers to be registered in the county where they work, while other states require that process servers have a valid license. Other states may require process servers to post a surety bond. State rules and regulations concerning process service may change. If you use a process serving company that does not follow the rules and regulations of the state laws where your papers originated, you could be held liable and your court case could be negatively affected.
What is involved in a legal process server job?
A process server must serve or deliver court documents to the individual listed on the documents being delivered. In order to do so, process servers may have to make multiple attempts or travel from a person’s home to their place of work. A process server must also be careful not to break any regulations or laws governing service of process. Once the court documents have been delivered, the process server must get a Proof or Service (also known as an Affidavit of Service) notarized. This proof or affidavit must then be given to the person or organization that requested the court documents be delivered.
Why should I use a local process server from ProcessServers.com?
ProcessServers.com offers a directory of local process servers that have been carefully pre-screened, giving you a sense of assurance in choosing a process server. By using ProcessServers.com to find a local process server, you will have complete control over which process server you choose. By working directly with the local company or process server who will be delivering your documents, you can save time and money. For example, if you need to speak with the process server who will be delivering your documents, the chain of command is shorter when you use a local process server you have found through ProcessServers.com. This means you won’t face much delay or hassle when you need to check the status of your service.
All process servers listed on ProcessServers.com must complete a thorough application process that requires at least one year of experience as a process server and two letters of recommendation. When you select a process server through ProcessServers.com, you are getting an experienced local professional. When hiring a process server from ProcessServers.com, you have a place to go if you ever encounter problems with any of the companies listed.
What is ServeManager?
ProcessServers.com is pleased to offer a web-based application called ServeManager. ServeManager allows clients to easily find and then assign jobs to process servers he or she has chosen. It is an easy way for a client to communicate with the process servers he or she has hired. Additionally, process servers can use the application to stay in touch with other process servers, paralegals, attorneys, debt collectors, and clients. If someone has multiple serves to manage, ServeManager makes it simple by allowing one to see the status of all serves.
ServeManager is a unique application that makes communication between process servers and clients very simple. Using any internet connection, process servers and their clients can effectively communicate so that each process service is completed just as the client desires. ServeManager is easy to set up – you can create an account in just minutes! The system is completely secure and very user-friendly.
How much will it cost to get my papers served?
A routine service can cost anywhere from $35 to $100 or more. Many variables can affect the price, including which state the documents are being served. You may incur larger fees if it is hard for the process server to locate the target. If a target needs to be found or if a process server must make multiple attempts in order to serve documents, the extra fees will be passed onto you. If you have special process service needs – for example, if you need document delivered on a holiday or if you need rush service – you should expect to pay more. You can often get a quote from a process server that will give you a general idea of how much you will pay for a particular service. When getting a quote, be sure to ask how many attempts are included in the price you are quoted. You should also ask what a process server’s turn-around time is so you know how quickly documents will be served.
How can I get documents to the process server?
First, find out if original documents must be served. If original documents must be served, you will need to send the documents to the process server by mail or courier. If not, you will be able to email or fax the documents to your process server. You will want to find out whether original documents need to be served or not so that you do not end up paying for shipping costs.
Where can a process server serve my documents to a defendant or target?
Each state has its own unique laws about how documents can be delivered and when and where a process server can approach a target. In some states, a process server can approach anyone at anytime in any place to serve documents. In other states, stricter rules for process serving apply. For example, in Virginia and Florida you cannot serve someone who is traveling to or from a court, and you cannot serve someone in their home on a Sunday. Some states do not allow anyone to be served on holidays
Since laws vary from state to state and can be complex, it is important to hire a professional, local process server – someone who understands the law and can make sure your documents are served legally.
How long will it take to have my papers served?
Process servers can usually estimate turn-around-time (or TAT). Different process servers have different TAT, although most offer several levels of service. For example, many process servers will offer same day service or rush service, in which a first attempt to serve occurs within 3 days. You can expect to pay more for these speedy services. Almost all process servers offer routine service, which means that an initial attempt to serve your documents will be made within 5 to 7 days after you have hired the process server.
What if the person who needs to be served does not want to be served or is hard to find?
If someone can not be found, some courts will allow service via newspaper, meaning a publication of the service in a local newspaper will be considered sufficient service. However, in order for a court to approve such a measure, you may have to prove in court that you have made reasonable attempts to find the person who must be served. Working with a professional process server is one way to establish this.
In some states, “substitute service” is possible, in which someone close to the defendant or target is served instead. However, this procedure is only used when all other options have been exhausted and must be shown as part of the Due Diligence process. Since laws vary by state, it is important to hire a local professional process server who knows all the legal options in your area.
What if the person being served refuses to accept the papers?
Different states have different laws concerning acceptance of papers, but in most cases a defendant or target does not have to formally accept the papers. In many states, if the target admits his or her identity but refuses the papers, the process server can leave the papers at the target’s feet and walk away. The service will still be considered effective. In other states, the target must admit their name or identity and actually touch or be touched with the documents. Working with a professional, local process server is the best way to ensure that your documents are delivered legally.
Will my papers be filed with the court by the process server?
Yes. Many process servers offer document filing services as well as other support services that will help you in your legal case. Most servers charge an additional fee for these support services.
Do I really need to hire a process server?
If your documents will be delivered in a state that requires all process servers to be licensed, you must hire a process server in order to have a successful service. Even if a state does not require licensed process servers, however, there are many reasons why you should hire a process server to deliver your court documents. Process servers can deliver your documents in compliance with state and local process serving laws. If you entrust service to someone who inadvertently breaks a law during process service, your case could be dismissed or delayed. Incorrect process service can also mean higher legal costs and injunctions caused by delays in obtaining evidence for your case.
A legal process server ensures that your documents are delivered affordably, legally, and on time. Process service does not cost a great deal but can save you a great deal of legal hassle. A process server is a good investment to make if you are serious about your case.
Does the process server I hire need to be licensed?
Alaska, Arizona, California, Illinois, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Texas all require process servers to have a license. In addition, some states or localities require process servers to be registered in their state or county. If you are hiring a process server in one of these states or locations, you will want to ensure that your process server is licensed or registered correctly.
What is an Affidavit of Service (or a Proof of Service)?
An Affidavit of Service and a Proof of Service are the same thing – a signed document that your process server gives you once your documents have been effectively served. An Affidavit of Service shows you who was served and when and where the service took place. An Affidavit of Service is an important piece of evidence to prove to the court that your documents have been correctly served. If an Affidavit of Service cannot be provided, you may need an Affidavit of Due Diligence from your process server. This document will assert that the person to be served cannot be found, even though attempts have been made to locate the person.
Who is ProcessServers.com designed for?
Anyone who needs to find a professional, legal process server can use ProcessServers.com to find qualified, local process servers. Many people can benefit from ProcessServers.com, including the general public, legal professionals, companies, government agencies, and collection companies. If you need a process server, ProcessServers.com or our sister site, ServeNow.com, are good choices for you.