If you’re a huge fan of legal TV dramas or movies, or even slice-of-life comedies, you’ve probably heard the phrase “you’ve been served” a couple of times. And it often implies that the recipient needs to go to court for a case against them.
The people delivering the iconic phrase, along with an envelope of legal documents, are known as process servers. Now that you’re the one filing a case against someone, you’ll need their services as well.
But why are they necessary? And what should you consider when hiring them?
Upholding Due Process
The United States Constitution specifically states that “no person should be deprived of their life, liberty, or property without the due process of law.” Process servers help uphold this rule by making sure that the defendant(s) in your case get proper notification of the legal actions against them. After all, a court case, and possibly a conviction or settlement, may change their life forever.
Another need that process servers fulfill is efficiency. Some defendants, especially those who know that they’re going to be sued, may deliberately avoid people they have trouble with. As such, you may find it hard to track down the person you’re pressing charges against.
A process server addresses this issue because they have the necessary training and experience to find the person in question and serve them their documents strategically.
The sensitive and difficult nature of this task used to be done by county sheriffs. However, when populations in cities ballooned, so did the demand for process servers. Courts and legal firms have come to trust process serving firms to notify even the most elusive defendants promptly.
Although process servers in Brooklyn, NY provide an efficient and legally sound way to notify a defendant, you shouldn’t just hire the first firm you see online or on your block. You should evaluate your choices to see which company provides the best services according to your needs. Here are factors you should consider when hiring a process server.
- Tracking Procedures– When vetting a process server, you should first ask about the methods they use when locating defendants. You don’t want your case to be bungled because the person you commissioned used illegal tactics. An example of an unethical tracking method would be hacking the defendant’s phone for location information.
Some legally soundtracking methods include:
- Looking at the defendant’s public social media posts for clues about their current location, like check-ins or recent photos.
- Contacting neighborhood authorities for information about the defendant’s current address or whereabouts.
- Extensively researching public databases for the address of the defendant, if they’ve skipped town
It’s always better to hire a server that takes their time to provide legal and ethical services. You are seeking justice, after all. Why not make the process as ethical and clean as possible?
- Speed of Service – On average, process servicing takes about five days to a week. If they promise you more than that, it’s best to move on to another firm. You want the defendant to be notified legally as soon as possible to lessen possible delays in your case. If you’re in a pinch, ask for next-day or same-day delivery. The best process servers should be able to balance legal and timely service.
- Updating Methods –Ask about the methods they use to keep you posted on the service process. It would be ideal for them to have GPS tracking, email or text notifications, and/or instant updates when the defendant has been served. In this digital age, you should expect nothing less than real-time updates from your process service provider.
- Back-up Plans – While personal service is the most efficient method, this can be difficult if the defendant is being evasive. Your process server should be knowledgeable about other ways to deliver legal documents in New York, like
- Substituted Service – If the defendant isn’t at home or in their office, the process server can leave the documents with someone the recipient knows. The New York State Unified Court System states that the substitute should be responsible enough to give the papers to the defendant, even if they aren’t in the legal age. A babysitter, secretary, or even coworker can be trusted as a substitute. Drunk colleagues, relatives or small children, however, aren’t suitable.
- Conspicuous Delivery – If the process server is unsuccessful in finding the defendant for at least two attempts at different times of the day, they can ask the plaintiff if they can do conspicuous delivery. This involves leaving the papers where the defendant will likely stumble upon it. This can involve taping the documents to the defendant’s office or home door.
The serving process is a challenging but necessary legal task. As such, you should only trust professional servers to do the job for you. Use these entries as a checklist when interviewing your prospects and you’ll surely find one that helps you get your case moving as soon as possible.
A Reliable Process Servicing Partner
If you’re looking for a fast and reliable process servicing firm in Brooklyn, NY, turn to Serve Index LLC. We help individuals, law offices, and corporations with our wide variety of legal support services. Our process service offers convenient features like real-time GPS tracking and email notifications, as well as next-day or same-day delivery.
Contact us today to get ethical and quick process servicing.