Author: The Process Server Center | PROServerCENTER is a legal professional organization whose mission is to set a national standard for the process service industry in the United States.
Process servers have an important responsibility in our society, and that role stems from the meaning of process service. As part of the judicial process, service of process is a procedure which requires one party to a lawsuit to give a proper notice of initial legal action to another party in an effort to exercise jurisdiction over the party being served and enable this same party to respond to the proceeding before the court.
What Does a Process Server Do?
Process servers perform a number of tasks such as document retrieval, filing of legal documents with the court and process serving. A process server's main duty is to deliver legal documents, called process, to a party or parties involved in a lawsuit. As such, the key responsibility of a process server is to notify the parties of a legal action taken against them.
How Does a Process Server Deliver Legal Documents?
A process server hand delivers process or legal documents that were filed with the court, called an originating court, to a party or parties indicated in the lawsuit, as well as to other parties, not named in the lawsuit, who may have information about it.
Let's expand more on the steps that comprise service of process from finding a process server to the delivery of the legal documents, called process:
Next time you have legal documents to be served, you will be well-prepared as to what happens when you hire a process server. As a client, you will know each step a process server takes in order to successfully deliver your process and file the completed affidavit of service with the court. Depending on the type of case and the court requirements, some of these steps may involve even more steps. For example, if the process server discovers that the address you provided is bad and the person to be served moved out, you or the process server may do a skip trace in order to find the current address of this person.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are approximately 15,000 to 20,000 process servers in the United States, working both full and part time. These numbers exclude sheriffs, constables, and other law enforcement officers who may also serve legal documents. When you are trying to find and hire a process server, it is important to fully understand the process and duties of process servers. The outcome of service of process is crucial to your lawsuit and the responsibility of a process server to properly deliver the legal documents is a key part of this outcome.
Understanding how crucial process service is to the outcome of your lawsuit, would you hire a process server who does not fully and completely follow your instructions? Or would you find and hire a process server who would fulfill his/her specific job functions as described above? To ensure proper service of process as a client, you would want to find and hire a PROServer, and not just a process server.
What is the Difference Between a Process Server and a PROServer?
A process server is anyone engaged in delivering legal documents, either full time or part time. Some deliver legal documents as part of a process service agency, others work independently. There are people who have a full time job and in addition they deliver legal documents. Some process servers seek training, others do not. There are some states or parts of states that require certification or licensing for process servers, but most do not have this requirement. Some process servers ask questions and strive to learn, others do not. Some process servers follow your instructions, others fail to complete some of their duties as listed above.
On the other hand, a PROServer is a process server who is committed to the positive outcome of your lawsuit and fully understands the key role process service plays as part of the judicial process. A PROServer is a process server who is pre-screened and/or certified to deliver legal documents to any person or business in the United States. PROServers are pre-screened by legal professionals, like paralegals, attorneys, process service managers who have used their services. Pre-screened PROServers are the best and most reliable process servers selected among many process servers to be fully equipped to serve process correctly the first time.
What Every PROServer Knows In Order To Be Successful?
Depending on the state in which he/she is engaged in the profession, a PROServer is actively searching for ways to further improve his/her service results, whether it is through online training programs, industry challenges, adopting new technologies or streamlining the processes. Performing his/her job duties properly is part of the daily routine of each PROServer who understand that success comes with constant improvement and it is the only sure way to attract and retain new clients. PROServers ask questions prior to starting their attempts to deliver the legal documents. They carefully read any information or instructions provided by the client. A PROServer knows what tools to use in order to protect himself from incomplete instructions as they may lead to a bad service of process. PROServers fully document what happens out in the field when they are making the attempts and retain this information as part of each process service.
Clients are beginning to recognize the difference between a process server and a PROServer and what it means to the outcome of their lawsuit. Government agencies, large and small law firms are willing to pay more but eliminate any delays in process serving, whether it is due to process servers not following instructions, not properly completing the delivery of the legal documents or failing to produce an affidavit of service on time.