Originally posted on 05/05/2016
Understanding the process of how to file papers can be confusing. Laws differ from state to state, which can lead to confusion, however, some policies and procedures for preparing and filing proof of service and affidavit remain a staple regardless of state laws.
In the beginning, serving and filing were done through local court systems, but the workload on law enforcement for civil action became too much. The legislation was made to take this off of our crime fighters, but not in all states. Check with your local government. Many procedures and questions are answered regardless of where you are.
Keep reading to learn the basic steps for how to prepare and file a proof of service and affidavit.
1. Accessing Documents
With easy access to the internet, you can readily access forms. This includes an Affidavit of Service in your state. Here is an example Affidavit of Service in Michigan. Here is a list of general civil forms for the DC court system.
2. Cost to Hire a Process Server to Deliver Documents
The cost to serve forms can range from $35 to $100 depending on the state you live in. You also have to take into account fees that are also locally based. Gas mileage and missed attempts to contact are a factor. If you require them served quickly, or on a holiday or weekend, expect to pay a premium.
3. Alternatives If Subject Cannot be Found
If the third party named in the affidavits is evading being served, or cannot be located, courts may allow publication in a newspaper. Proof of attempts would be required, so finding the best option to serve papers in your state is for your benefit.
4. Next Steps
Whether you hire an independent process server or use your local resources, the third party can be served anywhere, anytime. In some cases, affidavits and proof of service can be certified through the mail or even faxed. In some states, your process server can also file your papers with the court system.
Referring to your state laws is the first step. Researching and finding the efficient, licensed way to get them filed and served is essential.
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