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Hiring a Process Server

A process server is responsible for delivering court summons and other official paperwork to someone who is party to a court proceeding. Although this process sounds simple, it can be much more complicated than it appears. Process service is a means of guaranteeing the Constitutional right to due process of law, and as such, is governed by specific laws and procedures. In addition, the intended recipient of the paperwork may not be willing to easily accept process. Therefore, it is very important that the process server be familiar with the laws and procedures of properly serving process. If you need to obtain a process server, here is what you should know.

Do I Have to Retain a Professional Process Server?
This depends on where you live. In some jurisdictions, process servers must be licensed and/or bonded. In these locations, professional process service may be the only practical choice. In other jurisdictions, process may be served by any adult over the age of 18 who is not a party to the case. Additional restrictions, such as a lack of felony convictions, may also apply.

Even if you are not required to use a professional process server, however, it may still be the best choice. Process servers are familiar with the laws and procedures that govern the service of process. They are also equipped to handle reluctant recipients legally and safely.

How Do I Find a Professional Process Server?
Your attorney may keep a list of process servers with whom he or she is familiar. Using your attorney's recommendation can save you time and perhaps money, and provide a feeling of trust. However, this is not always the best choice. With a bit of research, you may be able to find your own process server, whose fees may be lower and whose schedule may be less busy. Use your own discretion, perhaps comparing those on your attorney's list to those that you find on your own.

How Do I Know if the Process Server is Qualified?
As with any other profession, some process servers are better than others. Conduct a short interview with any process server that you are considering. Ask for references, find out how long he or she has been in business, and ask about affiliations with professional associations. Of course, if your jurisdiction requires licensing and/or bonding, it is important to make sure that the process server's paperwork is in order.

What Does the Process Server Actually Do?
Depending on the situation, the process server may need to track down the person on whom process will be served. This may be accomplished in a variety of ways, from talking to friends and relatives to performing internet research. He or she must then physically serve the papers. This may be as simple as knocking on the recipient's door or as complicated as finding a way to catch the recipient off guard.

The Bottom Line
In many jurisdictions, process may be served by any legal adult who is not a party to the case. If you are reasonably confident that the service will go smoothly, this may be your best option. If the service proves difficult, however, you may be thankful for the skills and knowledge of a professional process server. Be sure to interview a prospective process server before committing, and then relax in the assurance that this very important legal step is being handled professionally.

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How A Process Service Works
How to Become a Process Server
Is Process Serving a Good Career for You
I Have Been Served Now What?
Methods of Serving Process
Process Server Associations
Process Server Trespass Issues
The Where When And How Of Process Service
Rules of Process Serving
Skills of a Successful Process Server
The Rights of the Person Being Served
Tips and Tricks for Process Servers
What does a process server do
Hiring a Process Server
Insurance Needs for Process Servers
Internet Research for Process Servers
Process Server Conventions
Process Server Education
Serving Process on Special Populations
Serving Process on Those Living Elsewhere
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