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.

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