What Methods Do Process Servers Use to Find Evasive Subjects?

Serving Court Documents

Blog originally published on October 15, 2015. Updated on February 2, 2023.

If you want to take legal action against someone, you are required by law to ensure that they are notified of the charges being brought against them. To do this in accordance with the legal process, someone must serve papers informing the person of those charges. This isn’t always easy when subjects evade strangers who attempt to approach them, especially if they’re expecting to be sued and know that someone is actively trying to serve them their court documents.

In cases when a soon-to-be defendant is extremely evasive, turning to a process server who can employ a variety of effective tools for serving court documents is the best way to ensure that you can began to take swift legal action. These legal professionals have experience hunting down hard-to-find defendants.

So how do process servers find you when they need to deliver legal documents? There are a few different techniques we'll cover below.

Gathering Information

First, the process server will interview their client about the intended target. At Same Day Process Service, our interview process is fairly lengthy because we want to gather as much information as possible about the subject. We take into account factors like place of employment, relatives’ addresses, aliases, and criminal history as we formulate a plan to serve the impossible. 

But how does a process server find their target once they have a current mailing address? Sending the documents by certified mail doesn't always guarantee success or proper service. Face-to-face interaction may be necessary.


Sometimes process servers conduct lengthy stakeouts to familiarize themselves with the subject’s daily routine. Understanding the pattern of the subject makes serving them much easier than attempting to catch them by chance. While most process servers use stakeouts as an information gathering tool, they can often present a window of opportunity for the server to make contact with their target.


In addition to stakeouts, process servers will frequently pose as delivery people and attempt to make a flower or pizza delivery in order to come in contact with the subject. Skilled and experienced process servers also use other very creative ways to approach a subject, but stating them explicitly might make existing strategies ineffective. Simply put, surveillance measures, delivery attempts, and other steps are taken to locate and serve the subject in question.

For Professional Process Servers, Call Same Day Process Service

Whether the person you plan to sue lives in Washington D.C., Maryland, or Virginia, or they’ve fled to the opposite side of the country, Same Day Process Service is the clear choice when you need to serve a subject who is trying very hard to remain aloof. Our dedicated personal service has been used all across the country.

If you have failed at other attempts to serve an individual and are in need of help, contact us today for professional process serving!

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