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  • Writer's pictureSteve Navarrete

Process service at a residence during the day only? What if they aren't home during the day?

So many new clients contact us to ask if we attempt service at residences in the evening time - WE DO. They say that their current process service company only makes attempts during the day and they refuse to make attempts at night. Some process service companies will even charge extra to make attempts after 5:00 PM and they will put a limit on how late they will attempt.

To put this into context, the industry standard is that attempts are not unlimited. Most process servers and process service companies have a set limit of attempts they make per service fee at a single address. Most range from two to four attempts per service fee. If attempts are exhausted with no contact, a new round of attempts will generate a new service fee but they will generally request authorization for a new round of attempts prior to generating a fee unilaterally. This is why it is so important to scatter the attempts in the morning, day, and night.

Some process servers prefer to serve papers during the day because it is considered safer and more convenient. Others may choose to serve papers at other times of the day or night, depending on the specific requirements of the case or the preferences of their client. No doubt, the latter is generally a more successful approach. Ultimately, the goal of a process server is to successfully serve legal documents to the correct person in a timely and professional manner, and the approach that works best may vary depending on the circumstances of each individual case. However, serving process at any time of day can still be challenging if the recipient may not be available or if they try to evade being served.

Making attempts at a residential address both during the day and in the evening can increase the odds of a process server successfully making contact with an occupant. By attempting service at different times, the server increases their chances of reaching the intended recipient, who may not be available during one particular time of day.

Before hiring a process server, make sure you not only cover the number attempts made per service fee but inquire whether they make attempts at night and how late or early they are willing to attempt service.

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