Picture this: you’re an attorney for the plaintiff in a lawsuit, or a self-represented plaintiff, and you have your summons and complaint in hand ready to be handed to a trusted process server for delivery. You are running a bit behind due to the holidays, or lifestyle changes brought on by the pandemic, but you are positive that your trusty hire will perform the job quickly and accurately.
Unfortunately, you are still concerned since you are fast approaching the statute of limitations on your case, and it is already Friday afternoon. So, you may be wondering if it is legal for a process server to serve documents any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.
Location, Location, Location
Of course, when it comes to specific legal practices, you can be sure that the laws governing such functions will differ among the states. Fortunately, most U.S. states permit service of process to be conducted on weekends and holidays. Louisiana falls into this category.
Serving Papers on Weekends
It makes our job a bit easier. We can knock on a defendant’s door on Saturday or Sunday and there is a greater chance that he or she will be home from work, and we can easily serve him or her. It is also highly likely that we would easily find defendants or witnesses working out at their gym or hanging out at their favorite clubs and bars.
Also, allowing weekend service is a great help when it comes to serving evasive people. Many times, they feel they are off the hook during weekends and holidays, and we can easily swoop in by catching them off guard.
Serving Papers on Holidays
Like weekends, holidays also have little effect on the service of process as conducted by private process servers. And, while it can be uncomfortable and unpleasant for the process server to work during holiday hours, and equally displeasing for the recipient of the legal paperwork whose holiday activities are disrupted, the facilitation of service by a certain date may be necessary.
So, while process servers do not want to work on holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and other federal holidays, and they don’t want to ruin your fun, they will do what it takes to finish their assignments.
Where it is Illegal
There are 11 states where Sunday service is still considered illegal by statute. This means if you hire a Louisiana process server to serve a defendant or witness in any of those jurisdictions, he or she must adhere to the laws of those states.
Those states include Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. However, some of the foregoing states do allow service on Sundays in special cases or by court order.
Additionally, New York state prohibits Saturday service on any person who observes Saturday as a sabbath day. And Minnesota does not allow service on any holiday regardless of the circumstances.
In conclusion, it is always best to double-check all laws and regulations about service of process in your area and in the area of where you need paperwork served. Are you unsure of how the process works? Give us a call today at Metairie Process Servers and we will guide you through the process. Scott Frank and his team have the knowledge and experience to get the job done correctly, lawfully, and on time.
Donna Lee Hellmann is a New Orleans-area copywriter. The foregoing article has simply been presented for informational purposes only. She, and those at Metairie Process Servers, are not attorneys. If you seek further information about this topic, contact an attorney in your local area.