What Makes a Good Process Server?
A process server is a person who delivers legal documents—basically a messenger for the court. They deliver plaintiff’s claims, statement of complaints, subpoenas, summons, writs, and other legal documents to a defendant or respondent of a lawsuit.
Decades ago, local county sheriffs were tasked with serving legal documents. Eventually, it became too much work considering sheriffs were also responsible for law enforcement of the entire county.
Now, there are private process servers who get the job done.
What Makes a Good Process Server?
Hiring a top-notch process server is crucial because of the vital task at hand. They deliver legal documents to ensure the court’s due process. By serving paperwork, process servers protect a defendant’s right to be informed of the lawsuit and scheduled court appearance.
Here are qualities you should be looking for in a process server:
1. Knowledge of Their Responsibility
Process servers are not mere messengers handing out documents to defendants. There is a strict step-by-step process that must be followed:
a. Serve the Legal Documents
There are many ways to serve the paperwork, but the most efficient way is to track the defendant down in person. If the person of interest is elusive, the process server can resort to certified mail, substituted service, or service by posting on the defendant’s home.
b. Fill Out Proof of Service
There must be written evidence that the documents were served to the right person. Proof of service indicates when, where, and how the paperwork was served.
c. Return Proof of Service
The proof of service must be filed with the court. As soon as the defendant’s notification is satisfied, the lawsuit can proceed, and the judge can issue an order or judgment.
2. Ability To Do Some Detective Work
Some defendants are challenging to track down, while others don’t want to be found at all. A good process server must be able to make subtle inquiries on where to find the defendant.
The petitioner or plaintiff may provide details like home and office address, but if the defendant is not there, the process server must work out alternative locations and methods to reach them.
Sometimes process servers cannot accomplish their task in one go. They have to be patient as well as persistent in finding the defendant.
When they do find the defendant and they seem agitated by the prospect of being served, the process server must diffuse the situation calmly. Patience is also crucial when dealing with an antagonistic defendant.
Process serving deals with different people and personalities, so a good process server thinks on their feet. They should be able to fully adapt to any situation: a flighty defendant that can’t be tracked down, uninformative family members, and more.
Messenger Or Detective?
A good process server must often be a messenger, detective, mediator, and everything in between. The role of a process server is crucial in ensuring due process, which is why it is essential to hire an exceptional one to deliver critical legal documents.
Lafayette Process Servers LLC. What Is Process Serving? Accessed 20 July 2022. https://lafayette-process-servers.com/what-is-process-service/
National Association of Professional Process Servers. What Is a Process Server and Why Do I Need to Hire One? 2022.
The foregoing podcast has simply been presented for informational purposes only. He or those at Lafayette Process Servers LLC, are not attorneys. Process serving laws and rules of civil procedure are different from state to state. If you seek further information about this topic, please make sure to contact an attorney in your local area
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