What Can Happen If You Avoid a Process Server
In our line of work as process servers at Accurate Serve, we often come across individuals who think they can dodge the consequences of a lawsuit or court case simply by avoiding the process server. While this may seem like a savvy tactic, the reality is far from it. The act of serving legal documents, known as process serving, is an integral part of maintaining the due process of law. However, if you’re tempted to evade a process server, here’s what you should know – and what can happen if you do.
Ignorance Is Not Bliss
The primary role of a process server is to deliver legal documents to the parties involved in a lawsuit. These papers, which are collectively called process, inform the recipients about the legal actions being taken against them, or when they need to appear as a witness, and provide the necessary details about the court proceedings.
When a process server comes knocking, some individuals believe that by avoiding service, they can bypass the legal proceedings. Unfortunately, that’s not how the legal system works. Ignorance or avoidance of service does not halt the legal proceedings. The court is not obligated to wait indefinitely for an individual to accept the documents, and judges don’t always take kindly to evasive process recipients wasting the court’s time and resources.
In Florida, if a process server has attempted to serve documents several times without success, they may carry out what is known as ‘substituted service’ with a judge’s approval. This means that the court may allow the process server to leave the documents with another responsible adult at your home or workplace, or they may permit service by publication in a local newspaper. Once this service is complete, you are legally considered served and will be expected to appear in court, whether you’ve physically received the documents or not.
Avoiding a process server can lead to a default judgment against you. A default judgment is a binding decision made in the plaintiff’s favor when the defendant fails to respond to the summons or does not appear in court. This could mean you lose the chance to fight your case or present your side of the story, resulting in potentially severe consequences, such as wage garnishments, liens on property, or even arrest in certain situations.
Avoiding a Process Server is a Bad Move
Process servers play a critical role in upholding the legal process. Avoiding them doesn’t make your legal problems disappear. Instead, it can complicate matters further, making it more difficult for you in the future and potentially leading to more severe consequences.
At Accurate Serve, we understand the importance of serving process quickly to keep legal cases flowing smoothly. With locations in Ft. Myers, Labelle, Port Charlotte, and Naples, Florida, our professional team is committed to providing exceptional process service, document retrieval, skip tracing, and diligent searches. To get started, call us at (239) 822-7299 or send us a work request online.
Not in southwest Florida? Not a problem! Visit theaccurateservefranchise.com to find the location closest to you.