Different jurisdictions tend to have distinct laws regarding just who can serve process. Believe it or not, there are areas in this country that only require that a server is 18 years old and not a party to the action involved. In other words, almost anyone is allowed to serve paperwork, even if they are not qualified.
On the other hand, some attorneys and pro se litigants would rather use the local sheriff’s office as a process server. And, while they may be less expensive, and using them does not require the time to research and shop for a professional process server, they may not necessarily be a better option.
After all, if you need a job done quickly, accurately, and by a specific time, you should always consult a professional, and hiring a dedicated process server will always give you an advantage. Here are three reasons to work with a trained process server:
- They Go the Extra Mile
Legal professionals took a survey in 2011 that reported that real process servers have a nearly 92% success rate when it comes to serving documents. This doesn’t seem phenomenal until you compare that figure with the 74% success rate of sheriffs and other individuals serving papers.
This is because process servers, who work for private clients, have the time and dedication to make multiple attempts at service until they are successful. They also employ tactics such as skip tracing to track a person down if they do not have an accurate address.
Also, process servers, unlike sheriffs, are not limited to the 9-5 timeframe. They can work around the clock to catch even the most elusive of subjects.
- They Possess Specific Legal Knowledge
Laypeople may be able to serve documents in certain situations, but they are unlikely to understand the minute details of civil procedure laws that typically apply to process serving. Conversely, sheriffs cover many duties in the course of their jobs and are required to have a broad knowledge of various laws. However, they don’t have the detailed knowledge that process servers possess with regard to proper service.
However, your local process server knows the procedure for serving subjects in various jurisdictions and knows how to draft and sign an Affidavit of Service that stands up in local courts.
- They Get it Done Quickly
Because process servers understand the civil laws, they will also acknowledge and observe the time constraints that are pertinent to pending litigation. The attendance of litigants and witnesses at hearings, depositions, and court appearances is, after all, contingent upon timely and proper service.
These are only a few reasons why you need to hire a process server if you have legal papers to serve. Remember, process servers have years of experience handling legal documents safely and delivering them quickly and correctly the first time. Because process serving is a process server’s primary business, they put the task first before other matters. This is something that a disinterested third party or the sheriffs’ office may not always be able to do.