Good day, people, and welcome yet again to the day’s Lafayette Process Servers LLC podcast. I am your host for the day, Miranda. In today’s podcast, we will be discussing the more frequently asked questions, especially those that pertain to receiving and declining served papers.
You may be wondering if it’s possible for a person to refuse the service provided by a process server, and if so – are there any legal consequences attached to it? The answer to this question is not definite, but it’s also not very complicated.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into what it means to refuse served papers.
CAN SERVED PAPERS BE REFUSED?
Falling under the due process of law within the legal system, which states that the accused has the right to know what legal actions they are facing, Process Serving gives the defendants enough time for them to build a case. The server’s purpose is to notify, as well as deliver, the summons and all other paperwork to the individuals involved in the case.
There are different laws guiding how the Process Servers handle document service in each state, and it is the job of a server to know all the different rules on how to serve the documents. But what happens in the event of the served papers being declined by the defendants? What do they do then?
Different laws guide different states and their Process Servers differently, as I have probably stated earlier. But there is one rule that cuts across most states – if the individual being served admits their identity or the Process Server has a means of verifying this by social media, friends/family, or any known source. They are permitted to leave the documents with them, whether the intended receiver accepts them or not.
CAN SOMEONE AVOID BEING SERVED FOR AN INDEFINITE AMOUNT OF TIME?
While evasive recipients only complicate and (only) temporarily delay cases, it’s never a permanent solution. The judge eventually allows for an alternative method of service or concludes that the due diligence for notification has been fulfilled and allows the proceedings to continue.
In some other cases, however, experienced process servers are usually skilled, equipped with the right training and qualifications to track down and complete service—even when placed under difficult situations.
The following ways here are a few methods process servers employ to make sure that they ensure the location of an otherwise hard-to-find individual.
- Many individuals are not entirely difficult to locate, especially if the client has done their best to provide the Process Server with all the relevant and required information. The information included are the names of the recipients, their aliases, work, and home addresses, all their available phone numbers, and basic means of identification such as a recent photo, physical descriptions, and make and model of their vehicle if relevant.
- When possible, a client can provide even more information, such as the person’s route to work, use of public transportation, addresses of friends and family, and frequently visited locations such as a gym or restaurant. Even knowing where a person gets their morning coffee on their way to work can be helpful in tracking down an evasive person.
- In-person service is still considered the gold standard, and most people are served at their home or place of work. If a process server cannot effectuate service on the first attempt, they might return at another time of day or even wait for the person to return home from work. Process servers will also complete service at a workplace, and they’re allowed to leave papers with the manager or boss if they cannot reach the individual personally.
- If these standard methods of completing service don’t work, a process server may use public records to see if an individual has changed addresses. They may even look up the addresses of friends and family members in case the individual is staying with someone else to avoid being served.
- Similarly, searching court records allows a process server to find out if the person has any upcoming court dates, in which case they can serve them as they leave a hearing or other court proceeding. They can also identify the person’s lawyer and serve them as they leave their attorney’s office.
- Sometimes the usual steps are not enough to complete the process service, or the client is unable to provide the necessary information. And when a person is determined to avoid being served, they might even move without providing a forwarding address, change their appearance, or switch jobs every few months.
- When this happens, process servers get especially creative. They may use information posted on social media to find someone at a concert or other public event or even wait at the airport for someone to return from the vacation they posted about on Facebook or Instagram.
Despite all this, people still employ numerous methods and ways to evade Servers.
What exactly is Process Servers that lead people to avoid being served?
WHY DO PEOPLE AVOID BEING SERVED?
Thanks in part to their portrayal in movies and shows, many Americans are now more aware of Process Servers, as well as an idea of what process servers do.
So, it is not surprising that people can almost sense that they’re in trouble with the law, or at the receiving end of a divorce, every time a Process Server is involved, and then go through incredible lengths to avoid them.
But what happens to individuals who “successfully” evade personal service? Are they punished for it?
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU AVOID PERSONAL SERVICE?
Methods have been put in place to ensure that personal service is not required to go on an action against the defendant. Some states require that substituted service (which was inferred earlier) be utilized only after evasion of personal service on multiple occasions.
The dates, locations, times, and the number of failed attempts must be documented in the proper manner before documents can be left with an appropriate person of age at the defendant’s home or workplace, mailing them to their substituted service address.
Although, some states do not allow for matrimonial actions without observing personal service.
If you still need any of the questions answered in relation to steps you can employ when process servers are being avoided, you can contact Lafayette at (1-866-237-2853) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
So, that concludes our time together today. We hope you enjoyed listening.
If there is anything specific that you need us to chat about in a future episode, please reach out to us, and we would love to cover it for you. We’ll be sure to respond promptly. Thank you again for listening, and till next week, thank you for tuning into our podcast!
The foregoing podcast has simply been presented for informational purposes only. He or those at Lafayette Process Servers LLC, are not attorneys. Laws and regulations vary among states and specific jurisdictions. If you seek further information about this topic, please make sure to contact an attorney in your local area.