Service of process is when legal documents such as civil actions, summonses, complaints, subpoenas, writs and other court documents are delivered to the individual to whom the legal document is named. This method is employed to give legal notice to the individual or business. Service of process must be served by an individual who is not a party to the action. Rules and laws of civil procedure can vary from state to state.
A process server delivers legal documents to a defendant or an individual involved in a lawsuit. The process server must serve the documents in accordance with the laws in the jurisdiction of service or by the laws of the forwarding jurisdiction. This service is performed by handing the documents to the individual personally or by effecting substitute service upon someone in the same household or business. Documents are delivered to someone of proper age, which varies state to state. Once the documents are served, the process server is required to provide proof that the papers were served. This is done through a document called an Affidavit of Service, or Proof of Service, which may be notarized and given to the party who requested service. B&R process servers may also file your legal documents with the court, handle document retrieval and other various types of services.
Hiring a professional process server is an important step in proceeding with a lawsuit. Process serving laws vary from state to state and county to county. In some states, someone who performs service of process is required by law to be registered or licensed, so if you are in one of these states, the answer is “Yes!” B&R professional process servers are knowledgeable of the current legislation surrounding service of process locally and nationally. They are experienced in serving legal documents efficiently. If services are not performed in accordance with the law, your case can be hindered from going forward or result in the dismissal of your case.
Process serving rates can vary from case to case and state to state. Same day or rush services are typically billed at a higher rate. The cost of a routine serve (a serve that is first attempted within several days of receiving the papers) can be as low as $54 and can go up to $125.
There are different categories of service attempt options which vary by time and cost. Process servers can provide Same Day Service, Rush Service (within 3 days) and Routine Service (within 5 – 7days).
In many states someone can be served at any time or location. However, some states have specific restrictions. B&R professional process servers are knowledgeable of the varying state laws to assure your process is served properly.
When an individual is unavailable for personal service, many jurisdictions allow for substituted service. This allows the process server to leave service documents with other responsible individuals such as cohabiting adults. Some jurisdictions allow for substitute service upon a person in charge at the individual’s place of business.
Service by mail is permitted by many U.S. jurisdictions for service on defendants located in other U.S. states or foreign countries.
Sometimes, delivery to an agent for acceptance of service or “Registered Agent” can substitute for personal service on the principal party to be served.
As a substitute for personal service by a process server, many jurisdictions promote voluntary acceptance of service. The summons and other documents are mailed to the party to be served, along with a request to sign and return a form of acceptance of service, or acknowledgement of service.
In most states, process servers are restricted from trespassing on property as a means of serving process. Such invasions, no matter how innocent, are regarded as not only invalid, but illegal and may result in penalties for offenders.
Certain states prohibit the delivery or serving of documents on Sundays, holidays, and election days. Some states will allow the service of documents under special circumstances, such as when the service of process is pursuant to a court order.
An Affidavit of Service can be electronically filed or delivered for filing depending on the court location and rules.
B&R Services for Professionals offers a B&R Client Portal to improve the efficiency of your legal support.
- Clients can login and check the status of services. They can lookup attempts, completion information and even download copies of Affidavits of Service.
- Clients can receive email notification when a job is created, attempted and/or completed to keep them constantly informed on the status of a job.
- Clients can receive GPS tagged service attempts/completion information. This gives them the assurance that the papers they requested to be served were served at exactly the time and place that the server said they were.
B&R Services for Professionals offers a Transcript & Exhibit Repository for clients to have secure online 24/7 access to current and past depositions.
- Clients can login and instantly view, print or download transcripts and exhibits.
- Clients can use keyword search for files in a case or across cases.
- Clients can sort or search by case, witness, party or date.