What Duties Does a Process Server Perform?

Process Server

This blog was originally published on August 10, 2015 and updated on June 21, 2022.

The term "process server" might seem unfamiliar to you, but you've undoubtedly seen a process server at work, either in your own life or on TV. Essentially, process servers are individuals who present or "serve" a subpoenaed individual with a number of documents stating why and when they need to appear in court. While this may seem like a simple task, the process can be quite grueling, and sometimes lengthy, requiring multiple process servers. This is because many people will do all they can to dodge an incoming subpoena. 

For help serving legal documents, contact the pros at Same Day Process or read on below for more information.

What Does A Process Server Do?

The legal process requires proper service of pertinent legal documents. Process servers deliver or "serve" legal documents (like divorce papers or eviction notices, for example) to a defendant personally.

Process serving falls into the legal system under the due process of law, which states that an accused individual has the right to know what legal actions they are facing with enough time to build a defense case. The server will deliver any notifications, summons, and any other paperwork to those who are involved in the case. Each state has different local laws on how to serve documents, so a process server must know all the different rules on how to serve the paperwork.

Technically, papers may be served by anyone over 18 years of age so long as they are not a party to the lawsuit at hand. Some people have friends or law enforcement officers assist with the serving process. However, there are unique benefits to using a professional process server, especially if you are dealing with a hard-to-find individual.

Skip Tracing: How Process Servers Find Defendants

The process server must track down the defendant in order to serve them. This tracking process is known as "skip tracing." Skip tracing is fairly difficult because many times the last known address is not the defendant’s current address. Then the server must look for someone who doesn’t want to be found. The server must be careful to follow the law, or else the serving can be ruled null and void. 

To do their due diligence, process servers often have to travel to find the defendants, know their schedules, search social media for whereabouts, and sometimes sit through a stakeout at the defendant’s residence or business. They can serve anyone from civilians to inmates to police officers, and even military personnel. Servers also have the ability to file any documents to the court, State Department, and foreign embassies.

Throughout the process service, sometimes multiple attempts are necessary to locate the target and serve papers in person. Most process servers utilize databases to track down defendants, but licensed private investigators may also assist with this step.

What is Proof Of Service?

Proof of service, also known as return of service (or, if notarized, an affidavit of service) is the appropriate documentation needed to complete the service of process. As part of the legal procedure, the proof of service must be filled out according to local regulations and process serving laws. It includes to whom, where, when and how the court documents were served. Additionally, the proof of service must be signed by the process server. This proof comes in handy if the defendant ignores the case.

To Speak with A Professional Process Server, Contact Same Day Process Now

If you're ready to take legal action and would like to hire a trustworthy and experienced process server, the legal professionals at Same Day Process are at your service! From coast to coast, our network of dedicated process servers is the most reliable. Contact us today for a free quote.





What should I expect from my process server?

Navigating the legal world is a challenge, but finding an experienced, reliable, and knowledgeable process server shouldn’t be. Here at Same Day Process, we treat each client as our only client and go above and beyond to assure each case is...

The Benefits of Hiring a Private Investigator

Originally posted on 07/05/2016 We all want more info in life, but sometimes that information is hard to come by. A private investigator can help to uncover important information including a search for a person's whereabouts. Private...

What Is Skip Tracing?

Originally posted on 09/10/2015 Sometimes finding someone is the biggest issue with having them do something! Process servers help deliver the legal documents that make the legal system operate. This system would not run nearly as...

Which Industries Most Often Use Process Servers?

Originally posted on 10/19/2015 At Same Day Process Service, our clients come from a variety of industries. With a combined 60 years of experience, every skilled process server we work with has successfully served individuals for...

How Is Skip Tracing Performed?

Originally posted on 12/21/2015 What do you do when you can't find something or someone? Do you call around? Maybe you check the place where you saw that object or person last. How does this search become more intense when you have...

Do I Need to Hire a Process Server?

Originally posted on 03/01/2016 Legal matters experience a better outcome through the hiring of a professional process server. Additionally, you’ll experience less frustration as well as time savings. Check out the reasons why you...

Serving Heavyweight Boxer Pedro Lovell

Serving civil process is often too exciting and is perpetually, non-stop OJT (on the job training). I received papers to serve on the heavyweight boxer, Pedro Lovell, often referred to as "KO King," "The LA Bomber," "The...

How Are Legal Documents Authenticated?

Originally posted on 04/04/2016 While a signature may be authenticated by someone who has reasonable familiarity with a subject's writing, the majority of legal documents require more than a simple statement stating that they are...

How to Choose the Best Process Server

Originally posted on 07/13/2015 Imagine that you want to take action against someone else in court, but you can't notify them because you can't find them. But since the law says that you must notify them, what can...

5 Things Private Investigators Can and Can't Do

Originally posted on 11/08/2016 Have you been frustrated with a case that doesn't move forward? Many people dealing with a stuck case might consider hiring a private investigator. These professionals have a large amount of...

Serving An Evasive New York Attorney

I was asked to serve divorce papers on a New York attorney who had been avoiding service and was coming to Maryland to visit his parents to celebrate the Passover. He was supposed to be arriving between 2 and 5 pm Friday. Our client informed me...

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Mobile Notary?

Originally posted on: 11/17/2015 Mobile notaries are notary publics who travel to a client’s location to conduct a notarial act. Almost anyone can benefit from a mobile notary’s services, but there are a few surprising benefits...

How Long Will It Take to Have My Papers Served?

Originally posted on: 03/14/2018 "Are we there yet?" We all remember hearing our kids or maybe or younger selves saying that at one point. We want to be at our destination without the wait on the journey. Serving processes is...

What Happens If I Avoid A Process Server?

Original Post: 07/31/2017 If you are looking to sue someone, divorce them, obtain child support, or many other legal issues, you may attempt to have the papers served to them. A process server can be hired to track them down and serve the...
Page: 12345 - All