Process servers are incredibly important and you will most likely have already used one or could land up using one in the future. Process service is the procedure by which a party to a lawsuit gives an appropriate notice of initial legal action to another party (such as a defendant), in an effort to exercise jurisdiction over that person so as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body, or other tribunal.
Notice is furnished by delivering a set of court documents (called “process”) to the person to be served.
Process servers ensure that important documents such as subpoenas, summons or other court notices, reach the intended recipient within the required time. Often these people don’t want to receive these documents, for example if it is a court summons or a lawyer’s letter, then a process server needs to be able to think on their feet. They need to get your document to someone, who might be hostile, or attempt to avoid the process server. It is paramount that these documents are served within your timeframe and making sure to comply with all applicable laws. This requires experience, smarts, and deep understanding of the state’s laws and local knowledge.
Though it is quite easy to become a process server, there are certain legal requirements that a server must meet before they are officially allowed to perform the duties of a process server. They need to be fully licensed within the county or state they operate, though this license is often not hard to acquire, it does require that they pass a few checks, such as a background check, required annual education classes, testing and having insurance. Also, a qualified server generally will be part of an association, these associations help them, keep track of the latest developments in the field, such as regulation changes. Therefore, when looking for a process server to hire, be sure they are fully licensed to provide the service.
No matter how well you pay them, a bad process server will not be able to perform the more complex servings. It is important that you find someone with experience in the field. Often someone who has been doing this for a while will have developed special techniques for the especially difficult jobs, and they will have knowledge of the state laws and how to apply them. Experienced process servers normally have good channels of communication which you can use to stay in the loop and even get real time updates on when exactly the documents were delivered.
You don’t want the process server to exacerbate the situation, therefore it is good practice to look for traits such as patience and quick thinking. The process of serving, in some cases, such as when someone is evading service, can take a while and be frustrating, you want a server whom can handle this and adjust and handle these unique issues.
It is more efficient to find a larger company than to use an individual process server. A larger company will have many servers working for them and could find one to suit your needs. The price you are quoted will depend largely on your specific requirements.
In the end remember that these are important court documents that must reach the recipient in the correct manner. So even though it may cost more to hire a more experienced, professional process server, it is often still cheaper in the long run than having a cheap process server not get the job done right.