What is Service of Process?
United States legal procedure requires that each party in a case be notified if actions are taken against them in a court of law. Process serving is an important aspect of the Due Process of Law.
Process serving laws and rules of civil procedure differ from state to state. Visit the State Rules of Civil Procedure section of Serve-Now.com to learn more about service of process in your state.
Notification of actions or court include delivery of summons, complaints, subpoenas, order to show cause, and writs.
One type of service is called “substituted service.” This legal process of service is when the documents are left with an adult resident of the named party at the target’s home, or with a management level employee at their place of business. There are also circumstances when posting in a prominent place, followed by a certified mail copy, is an accepted method of service.
Who can serve papers?
When service of process was first instituted, it was performed by sheriffs or deputies, and agents of the court. This became a burden on law enforcement, so legislation changed. Now, in many states, any U.S. citizen over the age of 18, that is not a party to the case, and residing in the state where the matter is to be tried, can serve papers.
Some states require that process server be licensed; some require registration with the county, and in some states, process servers are required to post a surety bond.
At ProcessServerOne.com we believe you will get the best results by using a local, professional process serving company.
What does a Legal Process Server Do?
A legal process server delivers – serves — documents to the individual listed on the legal document being served. Once the documents are delivered, an Affidavit of Service, also called a Proof of Service, is notarized and given to the party who requested the service.
To download an Affidavit of Service for your state, you should visit ProcessServerOne.com’s Free Legal Documents repository, here.
Why Use ProcessServerOne.com?
ProcessServerOne.com is a directory of local pre-screened process servers. By using us, you’ll be working with the person or company serving your papers, saving you time and money, and work with a short chain of communication about your serves and their status.
Our process servers at ProcessServerOne.com all go through an application process, in which they must provide two letters of recommendation and have at least one year of process serving experience.
And, by using a process server on ProcessServerOne.com, you can reach us any time.
Contact us to find a process server or discuss your case, today.
How much does it cost to get papers served?
Routine service costs range between $35 – $100. Prices can be lower in some states and higher in others. If the serve becomes more difficult or costly for the process server, you can expect to pay more. You may incur additional mileage fees or skip tracing fees if you need the person located. Additionally, if you have a rush serve or you need papers served the next day or on a holiday, rates increase.
When asking for a quote, be sure to ask how quickly a server can get the job done, and how many attempts at service you’ll get for a quoted price.
Can papers be faxed or mailed to a process server?
In many cases, the answer is yes. However, you’ll need to find out if the original papers need to be served.
Can papers be mailed to effectuate service of process to a defendant?
Laws vary state to state whether papers may be mailed to a defendant. Often, if an individual is unreachable but a valid address exists, a judge can rule that mailing paperwork to serve an individual is legal.
How long does it take to get papers served?
Turn-around-time, or TAT, can vary from process server to process server.. Most process servers offer rates for these speeds of service:
- Same Day Service
- Rush Service (first attempt usually within 3 days)
- Routine Service (first attempt with 5-7 days)
Where can defendants be served?
The location of service depends on which state papers are served in or coming from. While in most states, service can take place anywhere at anytime, some states, such as Virginia and Florida among others, do not allow service at a residence on Sundays; or when a person or persons are traveling to or from a court of law. Other states do not allow service on a holiday. A professional process server knows and follows these state laws.
What if the person cannot be found or is evasive?
If the named party in the documents cannot be found, the court may allow service by publication in a newspaper. However, the plaintiff may be asked to prove to the court that a reasonable attempt was made to serve the defendant or the person named. Hiring a professional process server can facilitate this process.
In some states a “Substitute Service” is acceptable, when someone other than the defendant is served. This should be done only as a last resort and shown as part of the Due Diligence process.
Will a process server file my papers with the court?
Most process servers offer a a wide range of legal support services including document filing.
What if the person being served refuses to accept the papers?
In most cases, an individual does not have to formally accept service for it to be considered effective. If the defendant comes to the door but refuses the papers, the process server may have to leave them at their feet and walk away.
In some states, proper service has been effectuated if the person admits to being the defendant and/or if the person touches or are touched by the papers.
Refer to the service of process laws in your state, or contact a professional process server to ensure process service occurs accurately and legally.
Do I need a process server?
Many states require a process server to be licensed; in this case, a process server is a necessity.
Regardless of the requirement, hiring a legal process server provides you with the skills and experience to serve your legal documents in a timely and affordable manner in accordance with local and state process laws.
In no case can papers be served by someone who is involved in the case or legal proceeding.
If service is not done in accordance with these rules your case may not go forward, or your case may even be dismissed. Improper service also delays evidence obtainment, which can cause injunctions, court fees, and attorney’s fees.
Does a process server need to be licensed?
Not all states require a process server to be licensed. Some require that process servers be registered in their county or state, or appointed to serve in a specific county.
Do I need to hire a process server where I am located or where the papers are to be served?
You’ll want to hire a process server located where the papers are to be served. Process servers are trained and certified by their state, to ensure that a state’s rules and regulations are followed. Additionally, process servers may charge mileage fees, so hiring a local process server can save money.
What is an Affidavit of Service and a Proof of Service?
An Affidavit of Service, also called a Proof of Service, is a signed document provided to you by your process server once documents have been successfully served. The Proof of Service states when, where, and who was served. An Affidavit of Due Diligence may be provided if the person to be served cannot be located.
Can I serve papers myself?
You cannot serve papers for a case that you are involved in. Depending on your location, you may be able to serve papers yourself if you are 18 years or older and not a party to the case. Note that some states require plaintiffs use of a licensed, registered process server.
Who should use ProcessServerOne.com?
If you need a process server, then ProcessServerOne.com should be our first stop. Through our company, you’ll find pre-screened local process servers to assist individuals, companies and corporations, government agencies, and legal professionals.
Free Consultation from ProcessServerOne.com
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