Many people outside the legal support business have a limited view of exactly what process servers do. Sure, we serve papers, but we do so much more to get to that point. Here is an inside look at all the prep work that a typical process server must do in an average day to complete his or her jobs:
- Using Technology in Every Aspect of the Job
Technology is incorporated into every task we undertake. We use databases, Google, and social media to locate subjects that may be more difficult to find. We also use email and e-faxes to deliver documents back and forth between ourselves and repeat clients, such as attorneys. And don’t forget, we also need GPS to locate the homes and workplaces of those that we are hired to serve. And spreadsheets help us to record client information, jobs, and delivery attempts.
- Adhering to State and Local Laws
Since all states have their own laws and regulations when it comes to the process serving industry, it is a given that we must know and observe all these rules in order to perform our jobs properly. This includes how service must be performed, who is allowed to be served, and strict adherence to deadlines.
For example, process servers must always be open about their identities, refrain from looking through mail, even though it may confirm that the person they are looking for resides at that specific location, and never impersonate police officers. Process servers may also have to serve people in different states if they find their intended mark lives outside of their home state. This means that we would have to abide by the laws of the state where the service will actually take place.
- We Have to Have Fantastic Research Skills
Process servers have to serve papers to people and companies that usually contain not-so-positive information. That said, the information stated is not always a surprise to the recipient, who usually knows that it is coming ahead of time. As such, he or she may dodge service, go underground, or they may be difficult to find in general. That means we need to spend copious amounts of time finding these subjects, and there are several methods that we use to go about this.
As previously stated, we use technology and the internet to locate individuals and businesses. We also utilize the same processes to find and interview their associates in order to locate the person we are looking for. Usually armed with limited information, the process server must think outside the box in order to get the proper address or correct workplace in order to serve the subject.
- We are On the Road A Lot
We are on the road more than you would think. Besides your everyday meetings with clients and simple process serving (when we know where the subject is), there is also all the time spent waiting, and the time lost on following dead ends. After all, if someone is not necessarily receptive to being served, it may take several attempts to serve them properly in a way that is sufficient under the law.
So, in conclusion, while the common perception of our job may involve simple delivery of papers, or service, there is certainly many more skills involved. Playing a crucial support role to the legal and court systems, we at Baton Rouge Process Servers do so much more than deliver divorce papers, summonses, complaints, and subpoenas. Scott Frank works with his clients to comprehensibly ensure delivery within the time period necessary. We do everything we can to make this happen. Give us a call or drop us an email to find out what we can do for you.
Donna Lee Hellmann is a New Orleans-area copywriter. The foregoing article has simply been presented for informational purposes only. She, and those at Lafayette Process Servers, are not attorneys. If you seek further information about this topic, contact an attorney in your local area.