All Things Process Server
Tales from the Field and the Business Side of Serving Papers
Depending on the type of court papers you need served, you may have the option to have the papers served by someone who is not a professional, registered process server. Under California law, many types of papers may be served by anyone over the age of 18 who is not a party to the matter. For instance, a civil summons may be served by such a person (Code of Civil Procedure 414.10), as can some subpoenas (Code of Civil Procedure 2020.220), while an Order to Appear for Examination (a process used when attempting to collect a money judgment) only has teeth when served by a registered process server or Sheriff (Code of Civil Procedure 708.170).
However, employing a friend or family member to attempt to properly deliver the papers and fill out the required Proof of Service form afterwards can present its own set of problems and issues. If the Proof of Service form is not completed properly, a box is checked and shouldn’t be or a piece of information is missing, you risk being thrown back to step one and having to re-serve the papers even months down the road. This is an incredibly frustrating experience you should avoid at all costs.
If the paperwork is filled out properly, it still may not be worth the money you save to involve a friend in a possibly volatile situation. I speak with many clients who say they were going to have a family member or a friend do the service but in the end decided that they did not want to drag someone else into their legal matter. I also speak with people who started with having a friend try to serve but the defendant is slippery and evasive and without the knowledge of a professional process server, the chances of a friend effecting valid binding service are slim.
I’m clearly a bit biased on the topic but I can’t recommend enough that you hire a registered process server to take care of this step of the procedure for you. You will pay a fee for the server’s time, effort and experience and it may well be money you will never get back from your defendant, but the pitfalls you avoid by hiring a pro make up for the investment tenfold. It will save you money, hours and frustration to have the job done quickly and properly the first time by a professional.
I recently spoke with a nice lady who was suing her ex-tenant in small claims court for damages to her property or some such. She filed her case which was set for a trial date about 90 days out and had her nephew serve the papers to the tenant, which he was able to do. A Proof of Service was filed and she thought she was all set to wait the 3 months to the trial. About 2 weeks before her court date, the court clerk called and said the Proof of Service was rejected because the nephew failed to indicate the date he mailed a follow-up copy of the case to the defendant. A minor technicality ended up completely screwing this lady up.
She had to extend her court date to allow for more time to re-serve the defendant. She sent her nephew out to the property to serve the guy again but this time the apartment was empty. The guy skipped and she has no idea where to find him. Instead of getting her judgment the first try, she now has no judgment, no service, no idea how to serve the guy, and without the help of a costly private investigator or much research on her own she’ll never find the tenant and will never get her day in court. I bet it would be worth the $75 or $100 to her now if she could go back and hire a pro on day one. It’s just a thought to ponder while weighing your options.
As always, if you would like to discuss the particulars of your situation and see what a registered process server can do for you, call me anytime at (858) 255-4070 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best of luck!
I couldn’t be more excited and pleased to have been asked by the nice folks at Serve-Now.com to write a second guest article to be featured across their network of sites and their ServeReport email newsletter.
Read the article here titled “Do You Know What Your Clients are Saying About You?” and stay tuned for more!
That is why I have put together a quick 3-page PDF guide to hiring the best process server. Inside you will find useful information and tips, questions to ask a process server before you hire them and insight on how it all works and what you can expect.
Check it out here. If you need a process server and you have ANY other questions or you want to discuss your particular case, call me any time at (858) 255-4070.
We have covered a good bit of ground in the first four articles covering the basics of process serving. Now it is time to hit the road and serve the papers. It is time to get the job done, wow the client and try to maximize profit by limiting attempts at service. read more…
It has been a little while since my last post and there have been some neat and interesting opportunities and developments come up in my business and personal life. read more…
I hope you have read and enjoyed Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series covering the basics of serving process. In this part I will share with you how I first approach a new serve and why it always pays to do your homework. read more…
You may be asking why you would even consider registering as a process server to begin with.
I find it quite fun, exciting, adventurous and satisfying to serve papers. I always have. It’s not that I enjoy delivering (usually) bad news to people, read more…
1) Get all the information you can before you attempt service
One of the best steps you can take to make your life easier is to obtain as much information as you can from your client about the person you are serving. read more…
Why are process servers important?
Would you prefer to know if someone were taking you to court for any reason? Can you imagine going to work to find your wages are being garnished over a debt you didn’t even owe? read more…
Tel: (858) 255-4070
Fax: (619) 576-3852
I Serve Papers
4364 Bonita Rd., #258
Bonita, CA 91902
One Flat Rate for Service
NO hidden fees, EVER.
No "mileage" fees
No "fuel surcharge" fees
No "surveillance" fees
No "bad address" fees
No "proof of service" fees
No worries. No hassle.