Friday, January 13, 2012

Hiring a Professional Process Server

Photo by: David Castillo Dominici
When the time arrives that you need to hire a process server to serve legal documents for you, there are some very important things you should know and do first.

You should be aware that Unlawful or Invalid service can have a serious consequence on your case if your service is done incorrectly or improperly. Any time legal documents are involved; there are many legal rules and procedures that must be followed to ensure that the person being served receives actual notice of the legal documents both timely and lawfully.¹ Hiring a competent Professional Process Server can help prevent violating a person’s due process rights or making the service invalid and being quashed (null and void), subsequently jeopardizing your service or the your case entirely.

Prior to hiring a Process Server, you should:

  • Verify that they comply with any and all necessary business licenses, bonds, permits required by the city, county, and/or state in which they conduct business.
  • Confirm that they are properly registered, licensed, certified or bonded as a process server as required by their State.
  • Confirm that they belong to professional associations and/or organizations in their State, as well as, a member of the National Association of Professional Process Servers (NAPPS). Members of these associations agree to a code of ethics and professional standards as well as a set of best practices with guidelines that define the process serving professionalism.² Penalties of a breach of these standards can range from reprimand to expulsion when it is violated.

You should also determine what the process server’s rates will include prior to sending them your service. How often will they attempt your serve? How easy is it to get in contact with them? Will the server charge a millage fee? How many attempts will they make on your service before they stop or begin to charge per attempt. Is there a cost to notarize the affidavits or to file with the court; Request for a price sheet from the process server.

Find out how you are notified of a status on your service and how often. Can you view your order status online? Attorney Services such as Rapid Legal, Inc. allow their customers to view their statuses online, via email, and by contacting customer service for the status of the service.

Finally, before hiring a Process Server, make sure that all your documents and subject’s information is correct. Missing and wrong information or documents can delay a serve and may incur additional cost.

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