What Is A Process Server?

Process servers hold a very important position in the legal system, as they uphold the rights of individuals to receive notice about their involvement in a court case – including any action that is being taken against them.

They uphold this right by hand delivering the necessary documents to either the defendant, an agent of the defendant or conducting a substituted service. This type of service is hard to refute and when done according to regulation it remains admissible in court.

What Does A Process Server Do?

A process server has a number of responsibilities, but their primary duty is to serve legal documents (subpoenas, writs, summons and complaints) to defendants and recipients, and then file a notarized proof of service (affidavit of service) for the documents they’ve delivered.

The other duties many process servers will perform will include:

Document retrieval: Retrieving legal documents from a court in their region.
Skip Tracing: Finding defendants/ individuals whose location is unknown.
Filing Papers: Filing papers with the court on behalf of firms or attorneys.

They may conduct other legal support services in addition to the ones mentioned above.

Who Can Become A Process Server?

Being a process server isn’t as easy as driving around and knocking on doors. Many times, the work requires dealing with defiant defendants who do not want to accept the legal documents. This is why having expertise and insight is crucial, as an experienced and knowledgeable process server can serve papers effectively regardless of the mitigating circumstances.

This usually requires developing a tactful approach to serving papers, but an approach that remains within the confines of the law. In New York City in order for service of process to be effective a process server has to be licensed and continue to follow a strict code of conduct to maintain this license and maintain the validity of each serve.

Why Process Servers Are A Popular Choice For The Service of Process

Although it’s become popular to hand deliver legal documents this hasn’t always been the case. There was a time when defendants were still being served by registered and certified mail. However, since many defendants, and recipients claimed to have never received their summons or subpoena in the mail, and there wasn’t any way to definitively prove they had, this fool-proof method became the preferred method to firms and individuals across the country.

Since there are also more rules that regulate the industry in New York City and other cities and states, it has become very difficult for any defendant to circumvent the process and make claims that they hadn’t been served.

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