Differences Between TV Portrayals of Process Servers vs Real Life

There are three puzzle pieces; the one on the left has the word "perception" on it, the one on the right says "reality," and the middle piece says "bridge the gap."Every year there are millions of court cases filed by attorneys and individuals in the United States. These high numbers mean that service of process/the notification system for people involved in a case is something that happens often. So, it is no wonder that TV and movies show off this work. 

Let’s review examples of process servers in TV and movies. In this article, we’ll look at those examples and compare them to serving process in the real world. 

Process Service Portrayal: All Worked Up

This show follows process servers through their daily work. As there is with every job, there are fewer exciting moments that don’t make for thrilling TV. The problem with this show is that it usually exaggerates situations. 

In this clip, you will see the individual being served starts as verbally violent and then becomes physically violent. These reactions rarely happen in real life. Being served can be an emotional experience so it is imperative that professional process servers approach people with respect. We train our process servers to remain calm and keep a low voice so as not to escalate a situation further no matter what level of irritation coming from the person being served. If the situation turns aggressive, we immediately contact the police for assistance. The majority of services are handled without this level of aggression being involved. 

Process Service Portrayal: Serving Sara

In this clip from the movie Serving Sara, a process server approaches an individual in a friend’s home. 

The process server says the right things: he asks her for her name and tells her the documents he will be handing her. Unfortunately, everything else was wrong. He was rude and entered the house almost forcibly and therefore is trespassing. Someone may deny they are the person in question but a professional process server will still leave the papers with them. We also do not enter an abode except in rare circumstances where the individual may be bedridden and we have authorization from the home owner. It is always best to never step foot within someone’s home when serving process.  

Process Service Portrayal: New Girl

In the following clip, a process server quickly hands off papers.

This approach would technically work but it could have been improved by the process server stating they have legal documents for them. Most process servers and private investigators do not say: “You’ve been served” then walk away. Process servers also do not need to wait for verbal confirmation that they have the correct person, if they know for certain who they are. If it was required that we wait for verbal confirmation, some subjects would not do so and many more papers would go unserved. Our process servers do our utmost to receive verbal confirmation of the subject’s first and last from the person being served before they are handed the documents even when we have a photo and know it is them. We state that we have legal documents and do not often use the words “You’ve been served.” 

Process Service Portrayal: Suits

In the following clip, an attorney serves papers personally.

As with most TV appearances, this is very overboard. The scene shows that the parties involved are disrespectful and dislike each other, so a neutral third-party server would be used to deliver papers. Being served during a deposition is also not in good form. If the recipient didn’t want to comply, they could try to say the service was improper and there would be complications. However, we are regularly called upon to serve individuals either before and/or after a deposition.

Partnering with Professional Process Servers

It is fascinating to see these clips and how our profession is generally understood. Each clip that was presented shows a process server doing some things right while getting other things terribly wrong. Here at Same Day Process Service, we do not have that luxury. Our servers stick to their protocol and respectfully approach individuals they contact in legal ways. 

If you need case files delivered quickly, respectfully, and affordably, contact Same Day Process Service today by calling (844) 737-8331 today.

The Life of a Process Server

Court proceedings move forward every day. Similarly, the legal system needs to notify people of a requirement to appear in court or to take note of legal action taking place. The people who make contact with the persons of interest are process...

How to Avoid Breaking the Law as a Process Server

Process servers have a tough job. They are responsible for delivering court documents to people. Many people being served have misconceptions that challenge the delivery process. Knowing the rules based on local and state laws is important for...

Can I Avoid Being Served?

If you know you will be sued, do yourself a favor and DO NOT try to avoid the server. Many people think it’s a good idea - if they avoid the server, then they can prevent the case from moving forward. In reality, when a person physically...

The Must-Know Rules for Serving Processes on Holidays

The task of serving process involves many considerations that most people don’t consider. A server must be fair, firm, and respectful. They must think of their own safety while also making the individual they serve to feel calm. To effectively...

How to Serve Processes to Military Members

Members of the United States military often put their lives on the line to defend their country and its assets. Sometimes the courts will need to provide written documents to these active duty individuals for several reasons including a summons to...

Prepare for Process Serving Wearing a Body Camera

  A process server’s job is not easy. Servers deliver a summons to many folks who would prefer not to receive the court documents. As with most sectors, advances in technology have been and will continue to disrupt the process...

The Most Common Types of Affidavits

An Affidavit is a written testimony given under oath. Affidavits are only valid when given freely, without any coercion. To provide a legal affidavit, an individual needs to be of sound mind (lucid) and typical of legal age (over 18).   The...

Tips for Staying Safe While Process Serving

Process serving is a necessary role that helps the legal system running efficiently. As beneficial as this role is, it also involves some inherent safety risks. There are safety concerns with many jobs, but a process server can interact with a...

Getting The Most Out Of Your Process Server

Many firms use process servers to deliver legal notices. When they are contracting with a private process server, there are some things that can make the whole process more efficient. No matter how busy a process server is, there are still ways to...

What Is A Sting Operation?

Sting operations are potentially valuable tools used in law enforcement and some government agencies. Sting operations are tools used by local, state, federal and international agencies often working together on resolving the commission of illegal...

Everything You Need To Know About Skip Tracing

Skip tracing involves locating someone. Most entrepreneurs, debt collectors, and investigators apply it regularly. Typically, private investigators handle numerous skip-tracing lawsuits each year. Read on to learn more about skip tracing, its...

What Job Functions Does a Process Server Perform?

Have you ever wondered what a process server does? You’ve probably seen movies or TV shows where someone approaches the main character and hands them an envelope and says, “You’ve been served!” Then the character is required...

3 Tips For Choosing The Best Process Server

In the fifth and sixth amendments of the constitution of the United States of America, every citizen holds the right to be informed of being summoned. The messenger system intended to notify persons concerning legal issues privy to them is the...

Can A Process Server Trespass?

Process servers sometimes find themselves in trouble while doing their job. Their most common predicament is trespassing. Many people that are being served often call the police to report that the server is trespassing their private property....

3 Facts About Social Media Investigations

Investigating a person is so different to do now than it was 20 years ago. With the rise of social media and its extensive use by well, everyone, it is a tool that can be used to learn more about people. Users publicly put out information to share...
Page: 12345 - All