Welcome to the Lafayette Process Servers LLC podcast. In today’s episode, we are going to talk about, Body-cams vs no body-cams
The use of body cameras by process servers has been a controversial issue for years. Even though body cameras can be an invaluable tool that marks a process server as being a professional, they can cause problems such as making the people being served agitated or violating privacy laws. Nevertheless, it is easy to say the pros of body cameras far out weight the cons.
Below we will discuss the four benefits of process servers using body cameras.
Proof of Service
Wearing a body camera provides indisputable evidence that a defendant was indeed served the court papers on a specific date and time. This undeniable evidence will save you and your client both time and money. Even though process servers rely on an Affidavit of Service to prove that the service was completed and followed all laws, the defendant can still claim improper service. Without the proper evidence to support your claim, it could postpone or derail your client’s case.
Being a process server comes with many risks. The very nature of the job, serving people court papers who don’t want to receive them, can create tense situations. The rise in assaults on process servers is shocking and has even driven many states to create laws specifically meant to protect their process servers. Some states have even made it a felony to harm a process server. Body cameras can help keep process servers safe by keeping would-be criminals from becoming aggressive. In addition, people are less likely to break the law if they know they are being recorded.
Body cameras are a great marketing tool. They reassure your client that things will run more smoothly because you have recorded evidence as proof of proper service. Taking the extra precautions can help gain the trust and confidence of potential clients. It will help advertise that you are a professional process server and you will provide exceptional service.
Defense Against Upset Defendants
We all hope that the body camera will act as a big enough deterrent for possible violence. However, in the instances that someone does become aggressive or assault you, you have video proof to show what happened.
4 Most Common Ways Process Servers Are Accused of Making A Mistake
As stated above, defendants can try to avoid allegations by claiming they were not given proper due process. Below are four common mistakes made by process servers that defendants may claim happened to lead to the court case becoming delayed, dismissed, or a mistrial.
Fraud can occur when a process server claims to have performed proper service but did not serve the papers at all or served the papers in an unacceptable manner. Plaintiff can’t get in legal trouble, but their case can be delayed while the process of service is attempted again. Or the defendant may avoid the case by proving undue process. Body cams allow process servers to avoid this problem because they are able to provide recorded proof of proper service of process.
2. Serving the Wrong Person
Serving papers to the wrong person may seem like a harmless mistake, but it can have enormous consequences. Such as leading to the case getting delayed or dismissed if the defendant claims service was done improperly. Serving the wrong person is one of the most common mistakes process servers make. Several things could cause this to happen: wrong address, someone with the same name, mispronouncing a name, or misinformation from your client.
Process servers with experience will take all the steps necessary to ensure they have the right person. They will do online research, talk to friends and neighbors, and search public records. Finding a professional, experienced process server is essential to ensure your documents are served properly. Body cams are also super beneficial in this instance because it allows you to see exactly who received the papers at the time of service.
3. Failing to Verify the Delivery
Three things process servers have to do are:
- Verify the person they served the papers to was the right person.
- File an Affidavit of Service to prove they delivered the papers on time and in accordance with the law.
- Document everything they do while working on the case.
Failing to verify delivery comes in second place as the most common mistake made by process servers. Verifying the person means visually seeing the person you are serving the papers to. A filed Affidavit of Service can prevent the defendant from claiming incomplete delivery, but not always. The defendant can challenge the process service even a year after the case has passed. If the process server didn’t document everything, the defendant could have the service contested. Process servers can save themselves significant headaches by having recorded proof that they did everything by the book.
4. Failing to Deliver the Papers in Person
Some process servers send documents through the mail, drop them in the defendant’s mailbox, or tape them to the front door. This way of serving papers may not hold up in court as a proper service of process and can delay your client’s case costing them more in legal fees.
Without the video evidence a body camera can provide you, many situations can turn into a “he said, she said” argument. And at that point, the case will be dismissed or delayed while trying to sort out the conflict. Most professional process servers use body cameras so they can provide their customers with the peace of mind that everything will go smoothly and to cover themselves from defendants trying to accomplish a Motion to Quash. In addition, body cameras are affordable and easy to use, and the video recorded could mean the difference of hundreds or thousands of dollars for your clients.
And that wraps up our episode for today. Thank you for listening and we’ll see you next time!
The foregoing podcast has simply been presented for informational purposes only. He or those at Lafayette Process Servers LLC, are not attorneys. If you seek further information about this topic, please make sure to contact an attorney in your local area.