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Process Serving FAQ

When you’re in the midst of dealing with a complicated legal matter, the last thing you should have to worry about is whether or not your pertinent legal documents have been delivered to the correct recipient and processed within a reasonable timeframe. In order to alleviate this additional stress, your best course of action is to hire a professional, competent, and experienced certified process server who can guarantee a job well done. Read through the following list of frequently asked questions and their accompanying answers to assist you in your search for a private process server.

1. How do you serve court papers?

At Professional Court Services, we only hire professional and carefully vetted licensed process servers to ensure that all of your important legal documents are delivered to the correct recipient on time. Legal documents can include writs, subpoenas, complaints, and summons. We always conduct thorough research before attempting to serve papers to guarantee accuracy, efficiency, and reliability for all of our cases. We can deliver legal documents to a person’s place of residence or business following the rules and regulations set forth by each state or county.

2. Do process servers need to give defendants original documents?

This depends on the state in which the incident occurred and where the legal documents are being served. In some cases, the rules regarding whether or not original documents are required could change from one county to another. Some states require that only the original documents be served to the defendant, while others allow process servers to use e-mailed, mailed, faxed, or duplicate copies. You should find out what the stipulations are in your region ahead of time.

3. Do I need to file proof of service with the court?

The only time you’re required by law in some states to file a proof of service or affidavit of service with a court of law is if you’ve hired someone who’s not a registered process server to deliver your legal documents. Some states will allow you to do this as long as the person is over 18 years of age and has no personal involvement in the legal matter at hand. Other states mandate by law that you can only employ a registered process server.

4. What if your process server is unable to serve the legal documents or papers for some reason?

If, for whatever reason, our process server is unable to locate the named defendant or they’re evading being served, there are several solutions we can offer to remedy the situation and move your case forward more quickly. Through a process referred to as skip tracing in the industry, we can use our extensive resources to try to locate the whereabouts of the defendant by using minimal information such as their first and last name, a form of identification, or tracking them from their last known location. We can also employ a non-video form of surveillance to try and find the person by staking out their known residence or place of work. Once all of our resources have been exhausted, we can then appeal to the court and ask them to serve papers in a public forum such as a local newspaper. In this case, you’ll have to provide proof of due diligence to show that you’ve done everything in your power to try to locate the defendant and that’s where hiring a local process server such as PCS is crucial.

5. What if the person being served refuses the papers?

It doesn’t matter. As long as the process server has undoubtedly spoken with the defendant, verified their identity, and come within a reasonable distance of them, then the court deems this a proper service of papers. The defendant has the right to refuse or decline the papers, but even under these circumstances, they’re still considered as having been properly served.

6. What if the defendant is in another state?

In most cases, it’s advised that you try to hire a process server in the state where the defendant is currently located as they’re more likely to be well-versed with the legal procedures that are in effect in that region. However, you also have the option of hiring a process server from your current state and having them travel to wherever the defendant is located; although, this will inevitably end up costing you a little more money because you’ll have to pay for their travel expenses as well. It’s worth it if you happen to hire a process server who has a strong reputation, has worked in various states throughout the country, and is reliable enough to complete the task within a reasonable amount of time and with the utmost accuracy and efficiency.

7. Do I really need to hire a process server?

Not every state requires by law that you hire a process server. In certain states, you can hire an unlicensed individual to perform a service of process for you as long as they’re over the age on 18 and have no personal or legal ties to the matter whatsoever. However, this doesn’t guarantee that the job will be completed according to the high standards held by professional process servers or with the same amount of precision, dedication, or knowledge.

8. Why should I use a local process server?

There are numerous benefits to hiring a local process server. As mentioned, the laws vary from state to state and in many cases, from one jurisdiction to another. Therefore, by hiring a process server locally guarantees that they’ll have a thorough understanding of the local laws and that they’ll have already built up a strong reputation within the local legal community. On top of that, you won’t have to pay additional travel expenses to have them work cross-country.

9. How much will it cost to get my papers served?

There are a number of mitigating factors that can affect the cost of having your legal documents served. The time it takes to locate the defendant, the amount of research and resources involved, the travel expenses of the process server, the varying base fees in each state, as well as the court fees involved all factor into the cost of using this type of service. Call PCS directly so that we can offer you free estimate depending on the details of your specific case.

© Professional Court Services LLC, all rights reserved

The content in our blog articles is for general information purposes only and should not be used in the place of legal advice. Professional Court Services strives to provide content that is accurate and timely as of the date of writing; however, we assume no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, timeliness or usefulness of any information in the articles.

For legal advice, readers should contact a licensed attorney and consult the appropriate documentation for information on individual state laws.