Service of process entails notifying an individual or business that a legal action has been applied against them in a court of law, by serving legal documents to the said person. Whenever legal action is brought against an individual or company, process service must be done to prove the severity and importance of the case.
The requirements of process service differ from state to state. Some states require that a process server delivers a copy of the filed suit by hand, while some requests that the paperwork be mailed by the court clerk to the charged individual (usually 'the defendant').
Who Is a Professional Process Server and What Do They Do?
A process server is a person whose duty is to deliver legal documents to people involved in a court case. They are employed or hired to deliver legal notices and documents to parties involved in the legal action. The process by which this is done is referred to as "service of process".
Although, the main function of a process server is to deliver legal documents. They also perform secondary tasks like filing court documents and retrieval of legal documents. Occasionally, these professionals help locate persons who are trying to escape from responding to a court summon.
In addition, the legal documents delivered must follow the rules and guidelines set out in each state or province to enhance their validity and acceptance by the court.
The process server notifies the party to which legal action is directed, to make sure they are properly aware of:
- the court where the legal action is taking place
- any claims and statements made against them; and
- the stipulated deadline for their response
All of these and more prove why professional process servers could be of great help in serving documents and paperwork.
However, once the document or paperwork has been delivered, an affidavit or proof of service, which states the date, the place, and the name of the person, who has been served a legal document, is notarized and given to the party who requested the legal service.
Basic Requirements Needed to Become a Professional Process Server
Becoming a professional process server does not require you to possess a Master's Degree or even a Bachelor's Degree. The basic criteria are to complete a training program. This program focuses on imparting good knowledge of federal and state laws, and the principles guiding the service process.
However, some states require process servers to have certification and a license (usually a private investigation license). For example, a professional process server in Albany who serves five or more processes in one year must have an individual license.
Writing and passing an exam may also form part of the criteria for recruitment as a professional process server.
How Much Does Process Service Cost?
Many people know they should hire a process server to handle their jobs, but they are hesitant as they don't know the amount of money these professionals charge.
Process service charges vary from state to state, but an average private process server cost is between $20 to $100 per job. Even professional process servers in Albany charge between this rate range.
Besides, process service charges are determined by several factors. Some of which include the number of attempts to get a defendant served, whether it is a standard, rush, or same-day serve. Same-day service and rush serve are billed higher than standard serve.
Location is also a major factor that affects process service fees. Some process servers require upfront payment while some request for partial payment before service begins.
Reasons Why You Need a Process Server?
These professionals actively uphold the Due Process of Law, through their work. Legal process servers speed up the trial of legal matters in court by ensuring prompt service of all necessary legal documents to the defendant.
When you hire them to handle your job, you save time and money. Also, with their skip tracing services, they can help you track down individuals who are difficult to find and ensure they are properly served.
It is vital to note that for a complaint to proceed, there must be proof provided to the court that the defendant has been properly served. Employing the services of a process server will ensure prompt serving of notice to the defendant, thereby causing the court to proceed with the complaints.
How Long Does Process Serving Take?
The fastest way to get papers served is by doing it yourself. However, you should be careful because the person might refuse to take them. If this happens, you can go back to serving him or her through a professional process server.
The average time required to serve papers is within five to seven days. Sometimes, it may take longer than that depending on how easy or difficult it is to track down the defendant. Some services like same-day serve, rush serve, take less time, but are also more expensive than the standard serve.
Where Can One Find Process Servers?
There are several local directories where you could find them, or you could try the 'legal process server near me' search option. As you know, almost every piece of information can be found on the Internet. That way, you get to find professionals who will handle legal services for you, while you sit back and relax.
The importance of process service can't be overemphasized. Without the defendant being aware of the lawsuit that has been filed against him, the complaint can't proceed. For many years, process service has been a required standard in the judicial system, to ensure due process and fair trial.
Process servers abound all over the world. There are professional process servers in Albany, New York, Berkeley, and they work (full time or part-time) diligently to ensure that each individual is served rightly and in time. They help guarantee our constitutional rights.
Most of all, they make the delivery of legal documents to people involved in a court case easy, simple, and fast.