You may know that private process servers deliver court and legal papers to defendants, respondents, and witnesses, yet you may not realize that process servers, like other court representatives, have rules that they must follow. Here are some rules that private process servers have to follow in which you might not be aware.
Be Honest About Themselves
A private process server cannot pretend to be someone else in order to gain access to an individual to be served. They must, at all times, be honest about who they are their intentions. They also cannot impersonate law enforcement, although they can contact law enforcement if they need assistance. Continue reading
For most civil legal actions, you must serve notice of the court case to the other party in order for the case to move forward. While you can use the sheriff’s department for service, there are many advantages to using a private process server. But how do you know you have chosen the right private process server? Here are some questions to ask before hiring.
Who Serves the Papers?
In the state of Florida, only private process servers who are registered with the courts are allowed to legally and properly serve court papers. If you are using a service, make sure that any private process server who will be handling your papers is registered with the courts. Continue reading
Have you heard of the term “gutter serve”? If you aren’t part of the court system or the process service industry, you probably have never heard the term. A gutter serve is the worst kind of experience that someone can have with a private process server. Here is what gutter serves are, why they are important, and how to avoid them.
What Is a Gutter Serve?
A gutter serve is when a private process server throws away or destroys the papers rather than serving them to the intended individual. A gutter serve is completely illegal, and it can affect your case in many ways. If the intended recipient never receives the papers, they can contest service and set your whole case back by months. Continue reading
Your court papers can be served to the other party in your case by either a sheriff or a private process server. You may realize that private process servers are often less expensive or the same price and that private process servers are dedicated only to serving papers, but there are several other very good reasons that private process servers are more effective than the sheriff when it comes to serving papers.
A private process server has more technological tools at his disposal than the sheriff’s department. This is especially true in smaller communities. Often the sheriff’s department is working with a very strict and somewhat tight budget. They are not going to purchase technology for serving papers that will be used in only a few other ways. They simply cannot justify the cost. This means that private process servers have more tools at their disposal to find and serve your party. Continue reading
One reason that many people choose to use the sheriff’s department instead of a private process server is that a sheriff or their deputy is a trustworthy individual. They know that these law enforcement officers are legit and that they will handle the service with professionalism. Do you have the same guarantee with a private process server? As a general rule, yes.
Some States Limit Approval of Servers
More and more states are limiting the approval of private process servers. In most states, including Florida, private process servers must be registered and approved by the courts before they are able to legally begin serving papers. Registration generally has to be updated on an annual basis. This helps the courts ensure that only trustworthy individuals are part of the process. But is the process effective? Continue reading