The job of a process server is, at least on the surface, quite simple: to present to those involved in a legal preceding the documents that the court requires be delivered. Process serving is a fundamental part of the American legal system. By ensuring the delivery of summons, subpoenas, and other legal documents the process server acts as a critical component in the Due Process of Law. By confirming the secure delivery of these documents the process server protects the rights of all those involved. The individual performing the task can not be a party involved in the case and was originally handled by police and other court representatives. Indeed, if you have ever been involved in any type of legal matter you have likely already dealt with a process server. As you might imagine, however, things are rarely as simple as that job description would indicate.
While many people will simply accept the documents, others will do anything they can to avoid being served. Many people will attempt to avoid the process server knowing that there is a limited time frame within which the papers must be delivered putting the server’s detective skills to the test. Others may resort to the threat of or use of violence upon which time the process server must respond the situation appropriately. Some parties even go so far as to learn as much as possible about local laws regarding process serving so as to “out smart” those attempting to deliver the papers. Because of this, a process server must have a firm understanding of the laws governing the serving of documents within their area as even the smallest error in the serving of legal documents can result in the entire case being thrown out on a technicality.
Process serving can be as simple as walking up to a door and ringing a doorbell, or may require skills more often attributed to a private detective. The skills, knowledge, and abilities of those serving as a process server are often critical to the progress of a legal action. So be sure when selecting someone to perform this service that you select a process server who posses the skills and knowledge needed.