Welcome to the Lafayette Process Servers LLC podcast.
It’s easy to assume that process serving is an easy job—you only need to deliver documents to a certain person, get them to sign them, and the job is done, right?
Unfortunately, their duties are not so simple. Process servers must deliver legal documents to individuals implicated in criminal or civil suits. They often face emotionally-charged situations and reluctant parties who outright refuse to accept any legal document handed to them.
What recipients must understand is that process serving is a crucial component of the legal system.
Due to the potential dangers their employees face, many process server providers have protocols and procedures in place to ensure their safety. They use affidavits and body cameras to provide visual proof that documents have been delivered to the relevant parties.
But do these service providers do other things to trick people into receiving and accepting documents?
Many myths surround process servers and what they do.
Myth #1: Process Servers Wear Disguises
Many people think they wear disguises to serve court papers to parties who may be hiding.
The truth is that process servers do no such thing on the job. They are fulfilling a legal duty on behalf of the court and the legal process, and it is the height of unprofessionalism to resort to trickery.
It is also very unlikely that recipients will even recognize a process server—they often do not wear a uniform to indicate their position, and they just look like any other stranger on the street.
Myth #2: If You Can Hide From Process Servers, You Cannot Be Sued
Another myth is that the court cannot sue you when there is no evidence that you received a subpoena, summons, or any legal document. This is why people go to extremes to hide from process servers to prevent delivery.
The truth is that process servers don’t need to deliver the document directly to the person concerned. They could simply leave it in a safe and accessible place and tell the person the nature of the document and the case.
Some states have requirements on how legal documents should be served, especially when the recipient is difficult to find and avoid being served papers.
Hiding from a process server and not accepting documents does not excuse anyone from appearing in court. When a defendant is proving difficult to serve papers, the court or plaintiff can instead give the documents to another competent adult in their place of business or residence. They also have the option to just send the document via certified mail.
These measures show there is no need for a process server to trick a recipient. They only need to follow standard procedures to serve papers, and the recipient is considered served.
Process servers also have access to technology such as GPS and digital tracking data to help them track people down. They have the legal right to use this information to serve legal papers.
Process servers fulfill a vital role in the legal system and the judicial process. They are valuable allies in ensuring that people are informed of any case they might be involved in.
Hollywood might make you believe process servers will do everything they can to trick you, but they are partners in creating and maintaining a civilized society.
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
Lagniappe Law Lab, Issue Guide: Understanding Service of Process, Louisiana Law Help.Org, 16 Dec. 2021, https://louisianalawhelp.org/resource/understanding-service-of-process-article