Service of process is when legal documents are delivered to the individual to whom the documents are directed.
The person carrying out the service of process must have no connection with the party whom the service of process in intended. Many varieties of legal documentation require process serving such as, complaints, subpoenas, Statutory Demands, Bankruptcies or Winding Up Petition, Claim form, Divorce, writs, summonses and other court documents.
It is the responsibility of a legal process server to deliver (or serve) legal documents to an individual or defendant involved in a court case. The legislation covering this area of service must be adhered to by the legal process server. This can mean having to hand the documents to the individual personally or being able to sub-serve the documents to a family member of the same address, dependent on the circumstances.
It is necessary once the legal documents have been delivered for the legal process serving agent to provide evidence of this. A document is used for this purpose, it is known as a proof of service or a Affidavit of Service, which must be signed by the individual being served and given to the party who requested the service of process.
Process servers commonly offer other services such as filing papers with courts, carrying out document retrieval and other types of investigations. A company providing process serving will be knowledgeable of the legislation involving service of process and will follow any legal requirements or constraints that apply. Should a process of service not be carried
out in accordance to the legislation that applies to your county or state, the impact could seriously delay your cases progress and even result in the case being dismissed.
Routinely a company will carry out a serve of process within 5-7 days of receiving the legal documents. Many service process providers will offer a fast track service on the same day or next day but will charge a higher premium for the service.
When looking for a service process provider it is wise to aim for a local company as this can reduce costs and increase the likelihood of an efficient service. It is worth shopping around several providers to obtain quotes for comparison, factors that should be considered are, how much the fee is, how many attempts are made and the expected turnaround time.
If using a reputable company they should provide full reporting and accurate affidavits which are essential and as important as the actual documents being served. It is often possible for you to e-mail or fax papers to your process server. You should however check if it is required that the original legal papers are required to be served before arranging how the papers should get to the process server.
If the party named in the legal documents to be served cannot be found, the court may permit service by publication in a newspaper. Prior to this, you will probably be requested to provide proof to the court that a reasonable attempt to actually serve the defendant or individual named has been made. So in hiring a professional process server you will be able to provide sufficient evidence of this.