What is Service of Process?
United States legal procedure requires that each party in a case should be notified if actions are taken against them in a court of law. Process serving is an important aspect of the Due Process of Law.
Process serving laws and rules of civil procedure are different from state to state. You should visit the California Codes of Civil Procedure section of Hollister Process Service to learn more about service of process in California.
People are notified of actions against them or court procedures involving them through the delivery of legal documents such as summons, complaints, subpoenas, order to show cause, and writs.
One type of service is called “substituted service”. This legal process of service is when the documents are left with an adult resident of the named party at the target’s home, or with a management level employee at their place of business. There are also circumstances when posting in a prominent place (followed up by a certified mail copy) is an accepted method of service.
Who can serve papers?
When service of process was first instituted, it was performed by sheriffs or deputies, and agents of the court. This became a burden on law enforcement, so the legislation was changed. Now, in many states, any US citizen that is not a party to the case, over the age of 18, and residing in the state where the matter is to be tried can serve papers.
Keep in mind that process serving laws differ from state to state and may change. Some states require a that process server be licensed, some require registration with the county and in some states they are required to post a surety bond. At Hollister Process Service we believe you will get the best results by using a local, professional process serving company over the sheriff.
What does a Registered Process Server Do?
A Registered process server delivers (serves) these documents to the defendant or individual listed on the legal document being served. Once the documents are delivered, an Affidavit of Service, also called a Proof of Service, is signed and some times notarized and given to the party who requested the service.
How much does it cost to get papers served?
On average, the cost of a routine service can range anywhere from $60 – $100. Prices can be lower in some states and higher in others. As the serve becomes more difficult or costly for the process server, you can expect to pay more. You may incur additional mileage fees or skip tracing fees if you need the person located. Additionally, if you have a rush serve or you need papers served the next day or on a holiday you can expect to pay more.
Hollister Process Service charges a flat fee for their services. Call us at 855-5WE-SERV for a price quote.
Can papers be faxed or mailed?
In many cases you will be able to fax or email papers to us. You will need to find out if the original papers need to be served before determining how you will get the papers over to us.
Call us today at 855-5WE-SERV today. Our friendly staff can help guide you through the process.
How long does it take to get papers served?
Turn-around-time (or TAT) can vary from process server to process server. However, this is something that can be determined in most cases by you, which usually leads to a higher cost. Most process servers rates for the following speeds of service:
Same Day Service
Rush Service (first attempt usually within 3 days)
Routine Service (first attempt with 5-7 days)
Where can defendants be served?
In California, persons can be personally served anywhere, anytime of the day or night by a Registered Process Server. California Sheriff's have restrictions on when.
In some cases "substitute service" can be effected at one of three places; a persons residence, business address or usual mailing address if the first two is not known.
What if the person cannot be found or is evasive?
If the named party in the documents cannot be found, the court may allow service by publication in a newspaper. Before this can happen, you may be asked to prove to the court that a reasonable attempt was made to actually serve the defendant or the person named. This is where the hiring of a professional process server comes into play.
In some states a “Substitute Service” is acceptable. This is when someone other than the defendant is served. This should be done only as the last resort and shown as part of the Due Diligence process. Please refer to the rules of civil procedure.
Will Hollister Process Service file my papers with the court?
Yes, is the short answer. Call us for details.
What if the person does not accept the papers?
In most cases they do not have to accept service in order for it to be considered effective. If the defendant comes to the door but refuses the papers, the process server may just have to leave them at their feet and walk away. In California, the person being served is notified of the general nature of the papers being served and then the documents are left within their presence.
Do I need a process server?
First of all, it is important to know that many states require a process server to be licensed. So in these states, the answer is yes.
Hiring a Registered Process Server is an important step in proceeding with a court case. Process servers have the skills and experience to serve your legal documents in timely and affordable manner and, more importantly, serve them in accordance with the local and state process serving laws.
There are several requirements and constraints associated with the rules of service of process. In some states you cannot serve on Sundays or holidays. Some places do not allow papers to be served on a person traveling to court. It is also very important to note that papers cannot be served by someone who is involved in the case or legal proceeding.
If a serve is not done in accordance with these rules, this can hinder your case from going forward or result in the dismissal of your case. Improper Service also delays obtainment of evidence, which can cause injunctions, court fees, and attorney’s fees.
If you are serious about your case, you want the papers to be served properly. Paying a professional process server a nominal fee can save your case.
Does a process server need to be licensed?
Not all states require a process server to be licensed. However, some states require that process servers be registered in their county or state, or appointed to serve in a specific county. The below states require a process serving license.
What is an Affidavit of Service and a Proof of Service?
An Affidavit of Service, also called a Proof of Service, is a signed document provided to you by your process server upon completion of serving your documents. Proof of Service states when, where, and who was served. There are a number of other affidavits that can be provided to you as a client. For instance, an Affidavit of Due Diligence may be provided if the person to be served cannot be located.