A process server is a third-party that serves legal documents on behalf of individuals or companies involved in a court case. This includes civil and criminal complaints, summonses, eviction notices, garnishments, injunctions, and more.
Due to the nature of this profession, process servers rarely work regular hours. They also have to travel frequently to reach their targets, who may be evasive or unwilling to cooperate.
Duty to deliver
Process servers are responsible for delivering various documents to people involved in court cases, such as summonses, complaints, and subpoenas. Process Server requires them to be familiar with local, state and national laws for serving notices and letters.
They also have to be able to provide proof of delivery of the legal documents. They do this through a notarized document known as an Affidavit of Service.
In addition to delivering documents, process servers must stay up-to-date on changes in law and regulations regarding the work they do. For example, if a new law states that process can no longer be served on Sundays, a process server must keep on top of this change and act accordingly.
Process servers must be able to communicate with people who are being served, both in person and over the phone. They may need to explain the situation and what their role is in the case.
Duty to give notice
A process server has a duty to give notice of a legal action to the person who is being served. This is usually done by handing them a summons, which is a type of paper that lets them know someone is filing a lawsuit against them.
It’s also important for a process server to record when and where they delivered this document in a separate document that can be used in court. This is called the “return of service” and it identifies when and where the documents were delivered, along with any additional information that may be needed to prove that service was effective.
Moreover, process servers have the responsibility to stay on top of changing laws and regulations that could impact their work. As such, they must engage in professional development and keep up to date on current rules and best practices.
Duty to protect defendant’s rights
A process server is tasked with not only delivering legal documents to a defendant on time but also in the most cost-effective way possible. This can be a daunting task for many.
One of the most important duties of a process server is to ensure that a defendant is aware of the fact that they are being sued and that they have an opportunity to defend themselves. This is a legal duty that process servers are required to meet by law.
A well-trained process server can make this happen by implementing a number of proven best practices. These include making multiple attempts to contact a defendant in person, using modern delivery methods and keeping track of what you deliver. In fact, it is not uncommon for a process server to return to an address several times in the course of a day or two, just to ensure that no one has overlooked or misplaced their court papers.
Duty to obey law
Process servers have a duty to obey the law and comply with court orders. This includes delivering legal documents such as summonses, complaints, subpoenas and writs.
A process server must also know and follow all of the rules of service in their state or jurisdiction. Some states require process severs to be trained on the job, while others have self-study courses that they can take in their spare time.
In addition to following the law, process severs must be able to communicate with a variety of people. They must be able to handle difficult situations in a professional and diplomatic manner.
While it is illegal for a process server to compel a defendant to open the door, they can wait outside of a defendant’s home or business. This is called a stakeout. This is common practice when a defendant is being stubborn and is trying to avoid service.
What is the work of a process server?
A process server is a person who serves legal documents, such as court summons and subpoenas, to individuals involved in a court case. The process server plays an important role in the legal system, ensuring that all parties are aware of any pending litigation or proceedings. The work of a Process Server consists of delivering the documents to the correct persons and ensuring they understand what they have been served.
The job of a process server usually begins with locating the person who needs to be served with the document. In some cases this can be achieved through online databases or public records, however it may also require more detailed investigation if there is difficulty locating the target. After finding and notifying them about what has been served, it must then be proven in court that delivery was successfully made - for this reason many process servers keep accurate log books and take photos when delivering papers.