Choosing A Process Server
by: David G. Hallstrom, Sr.
In civil court matters, a process server is someone who serves or delivers legal documents, ie. subpeonas, summonses, court orders, various legal notices and in some cases writs. Process servers normally fall into one of four (4) categories:
1. Registered or licensed process servers: In most states, process servers are registered by their county. In some states, like California a process server, once registered in one county can serve papers in any other county within that state. In some other states a process server can only serve papers in the county in which he or she is registered. Most, but not all counties, when registering a process server require the applicant to be bonded or insured.
2. Private detectives and investigators: In most states private detectives and investigators are licensed by the state and exempt from registering as process servers. They and anyone in their employ can serve legal process and when doing so are considered officers of the court.
3. Sheriffs, Marshals and Constables: Sworn peace officers.
4. Non registered or licensed individuals: Friends, relatives and others.
In many states as in California a non registered individual may serve up to ten (10) legal documents each year provided that individual is not a party to the action at hand. ie: a plaintiff or defendant, etc.. When the service of the paper has been completed the server must sign an affidavit that the paper was served properly. That affidavit must usually be signed under penalty of perjury.
It is not usually a good idea to have a non professional serve process. They do not normally know the laws and rules involved in process serving nor do they usually know how to fill out a proper proof of service...