All United States citizens have the right to be informed of being summoned as per the fifth and sixth amendments of the constitution. This is called process serving. It is the process of delivering notifications, complaints, summons and all relevant paperwork describing a legal action to all parties involved in a legal proceeding. The principal significance of this practice is to ensure that the due process of law is upheld. This legal paperwork must be hand delivered to the defendant or person involved in the court case and must be done by a person who is not party to the case. This person is called a legal process server.
A process server’s job is to fill out court papers, serve and retrieve legal documents. Serving legal documents however, is their primary job. The process server visits the home or workplace of the party he or she is to deliver the documents and simply does the delivery. This, however easy it may sound is quite challenging in practice. The process server may often be forced to employ unconventional techniques to get the job done while still following local and state laws.
Find the Defendant
First the process server has to find the defendant. Most of the time the defendant does not want to be found for obvious reasons and ends up making the process a cat and mouse game. This makes the server’s job tedious and time consuming.
Serve the Papers
Secondly, the server must serve the papers correctly or risk the entire case being thrown out. Some defendants will try their best to avoid being served and this includes using their know-how on process serving laws to their advantage. The server is therefore required to know the law as much as or more than the recipient to avoid making a colossal mistake and putting the case at risk.
“After serving the legal documents, the server must then deliver evidence known as proof or affidavit of service that proves the documents were served appropriately.” says Joseph Willingham, a Phoenix process server. “The verification is notarized and then delivered to the party that required the documents to be served.”
Process serving laws differ by state. In some, process servers must be licensed and/bonded while in others anyone over the age of 18 can do the job as long as they are not involved in the case. The most important thing to note is that the process server must follow a set of guidelines and the legislation in the area of service while doing his or her job.