Are you filing for divorce? Are you perhaps filing a personal injury lawsuit? In both cases, the complaints and other legal documents have to be served to the defendant by a process server.
In layman’s terms, these professionals perform the role of official messengers. They have to follow the law related to serving such documentation, meaning they cannot trespass or break and enter the properties of defendants to perform their job.
Here is everything you need to know about a Process Server and its duties.
What is service of process?
Prior to taking legal action against another party, individuals are obliged to serve notice of the impending lawsuit to the defendant. This procedure is arranged by the lawyer and conducted by a process server. It’s unfair if a person hasn’t been informed of being sued and lost the case as a result. The role of the messenger is to find these individuals and make sure they are delivered a notice of legal action before it’s eventually taken against them.
Furthermore, service of process is a must right before a legal proceeding takes place. The person who is served has the right to decide whether to take advantage of legal counsel or not. The delivery of notice is a must, whereas the actions that follow are of no concern to the plaintiff. The defendant may choose to ignore the serving of documents at his/her own disadvantage.
Another question that arises is what documents need to be served. When intending to sue another party, you have to follow the legal process. The commencement of a lawsuit is when a complaint or petition is filed with the court. Afterward, the court is responsible for issuing a summons, which serves as a complaint outline and a formal notice meant to inform the defendant that a lawsuit has been recently filed against him/her.
Apart from the summons, the defendant might need to be served additional documents, depending on the character of the lawsuit, alongside the regulations unique to his/her location. Click here to get a detailed explanation of the term summons. The provided documents have to be accurate.
Who is supposed to be served?
As you have probably realized, the defendant is supposed to be served. Nevertheless, the lawsuit might name more than one defendant. In such a scenario, each person who is listed in the document has to receive service of process. However, this service isn’t limited to people, as it might involve partnerships, corporations, cities, countries, and other entities, which must be given court documents.
Normally, a process server cannot just walk up to the headquarters of a company and leave the documents. The paperwork has to be delivered to an agent who is representing the company named in the lawsuit. The requirements for the serving process might be different, depending on the entity that’s sued and the reason for being sued.
What is a process server?
The role of a process server is to deliver legal notices to defendants and other entities involved in a court case. Some of the documents that are delivered by these professionals include summons, subpoenas, and complaints. The majority of states are incredibly restrictive in terms of the requirements that a person has to meet to become a process server.
Despite the differences in regulations from state to state, in most cases, a process server has to be an unbiased third party. It refers to an adult with no interest in the court case. The plaintiff and the defendant cannot serve each other with legal documents. The person taking the role of a messenger shouldn’t stand to gain from the outcome of the court case.
Moreover, some states have extra requirements, such as certification or residency requirements. For instance, in the state of California, a process server must be older than 18 and not considered a party to the lawsuit. If this person serves over then legal documents on an annual basis, he/she has to be registered. Visit this URL, https://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-California-Process-Server, for some tips on becoming a California process server.
In addition, they are allowed to register with the court clerk in the county where they live or to have their own business, which is registered to offer such services. Certain individuals aren’t required to register for this role, including law enforcement officers, attorneys, and their employees, as well as anyone appointed by the court.
Private investigators who are licensed and their employees are exempt from the registration process. The responsibility of these so-called messengers is to understand and know the laws linked to serving legal documents within their state. In any case, using the assistance of a licensed professional is the best decision for avoiding any type of liability or making an error during serving.
The dos and don’ts of process servers
The main job of these professionals is to deliver the required documents to a party or individual named in the lawsuit. The objective of this service is to notify a party that a legal action has commenced or that a particular document has been filed in the case.
Furthermore, some papers have to be served in a special manner by delivering them personally to the individual. The messenger has to identify the person and hand the document to him/her personally. Breaking and entering is considered illegal, meaning the messenger is prohibited from trespassing on the property. He/ She isn’t allowed to unlock a locked gate or enter a building that’s locked without getting permission.
If a process server is prevented from legally entering the property/building, he/she is required to come back. The other option is to wait for the individual to leave the building, particularly in cases where this person keeps on avoiding service. No threats should be used to force someone to open the door. Additionally, impersonating a law enforcement officer is illegal.
A final note
These professionals should be licensed to avoid any liabilities and problems during the service.
No mistakes are allowed!
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