Process of service is essential to most legal procedures, but many people still don’t know much about it. Some people may have a vague recollection of a scene in a movie where someone was served (usually by dubious methods), but most can’t tell you much about the process or why it’s important.
It’s no surprise then that we get a lot of questions about process serving. Here are some of the top three questions we get, which also serve to give you some important information about the practice:
What is Service of Process?
Service of process is the term for notifying defendants in a legal proceeding, such as a lawsuit or a divorce. Federal law requires that all parties in the proceeding are notified formally of the action. That can’t be done by the plaintiff simply saying “I’m going to sue you!” or even by the plaintiff mailing a letter. An official representative, such as a sheriff’s deputy or a professional process server, has to deliver the documents and show proof of having done so. Typically, that means getting the person to sign a paper, but it might also mean snapping a picture of the person accepting the documents or some other evidence.
Typically, the document being served is a notice of the legal action being taken. However, other documents can also be delivered through service of process, such as a court summons, subpoena, complaint, or writ.
What Happens if a Target Cannot be Found?
A lot of people will intentionally evade detection if they know that legal action against them is pending. The bigger the action, the more extreme actions they are likely to take, including moving or changing their name. Fortunately, professional process servers have skills and training to find these people, in a process known as skip tracing.
Other options are available if skip tracing cannot turn up a person. Some jurisdictions will allow a notice to be published in a newspaper. Others will allow for substituted service, which can include serving the papers to a roommate or another person in the house. Some also allow for service of process to be performed by sending the documents through registered mail. Even in these alternative cases, you have to show that you have exhausted all other options for finding the person. A professional process server is best poised to be able to do so.
Where Can a Person be Served?
In most cases, a person can be served legal documents at any time and in any place. That means that a process server can show up at a person’s home, work, weekend basketball game, church, or anywhere else they might be.
Some jurisdictions have rules limiting when or where process of service can take place. For example, some jurisdictions outlaw process of service during holidays or at a person’s home on Sundays. Some also outlaw it while a person is on vacation. It’s important that you know what the rules are where you live and where the person who must be served lives. A professional process server will be able to offer some guidance.
Process of service really isn’t as complicated or mysterious as it may seem at first. There are specific rules around how people can be served, but any professional process server will know those rules inside and out. So long as you are using a professional for process of service and not attempting to do the job yourself, you shouldn’t have any problem. You will get the process of service you need quickly so that your case can move forward in a timely manner.
ASAP Serve has been providing professional process of service throughout Arizona for many years, and we can handle all types of cases. We specialize in being able to find people who can’t be located or who are hard to pin down. We offer speedy service with all the documentation needed to move your case forward. We work with law firms, businesses, individuals, and more. Use the form on our site or call us today to discuss your needs and get started on your process of service. We’re ready to help you move your legal claim forward.
Published By – ASAP Serve, LLC
Mesa, AZ 85210
2820 S Alma School Rd, #18
Chandler, AZ 85286
14245 S 48th St #148
Phoenix, AZ 85044
2509 N Campbell Ave #236
Tucson, AZ 85719
Office: (520) 448-4929
*ALL LOCATIONS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY