How a Process Server Can Serve Papers with Fewer Attempts
Serving legal papers is an important part of the legal process, but it can also be a challenging task, especially when the person being served is evasive. However, by following a few best practices, process servers can increase the chances of successfully serving papers with fewer attempts.
Conduct thorough research before making the first attempt. Before attempting to serve papers, process servers should research the individual's known address, work schedule, and other relevant information. Utilizing online tools such as social media and public records can help to determine the person's whereabouts and routines. Process servers should also verify the address and phone number provided to ensure accuracy.
Choose the right time and place. This is probably the most important tip. The time and place of service are critical in successfully serving papers. Process servers should aim to serve papers during a time when the individual is most likely to be at home or work. For example, It makes no sense to make all your attempts at a residence in the middle of the day when the person you are serving is a school teacher.
Use a professional and non-confrontational approach. The approach taken by a process server can greatly impact the outcome of service. Process servers should present themselves professionally and maintain a non-confrontational demeanor when serving papers. They should avoid arguments or confrontations with the person being served, as this can lead to delays and additional attempts. This is especially true when having to deal with building security and other forms of gatekeepers.
Consider alternative methods of service. If traditional methods of service are unsuccessful, process servers should consider alternative methods such as substituted service, publication service, or consent service. These methods may be more effective in successfully serving papers, especially in cases where the individual being served is evasive, or can't be found.
Document every attempt. It's essential for process servers to document every attempt at service, including the date, time, location, and outcome. This documentation can be used in court to prove that service was attempted, and can also provide valuable information for future attempts.
Look for patterns. If no vehicles are present in the morning but vehicles are present in the evening, this means they are likely coming and going in the afternoon. If a stakeout is necessary, consider the afternoon hours in these cases,
Serving papers can be a difficult task, but by following these best practices, process servers can increase their chances of success and serve papers with fewer attempts. By conducting thorough research, choosing the right time and place, using a professional approach, considering alternative methods, documenting every attempt, and looking for patterns, process servers can ensure that legal documents are served in a timely and efficient manner.