Process serving, also known as service of process, is a legal procedure conducted in the US that states every party facing legal action in court has to be notified. Essentially, documents that describe legal actions are served to the individual who has seen legal action taken against them. This is where the saying “You got served.” comes from.
There are a few different types of documents that are part of the process service. These include:
- Summons and Complaint
- Writ of Garnishment
There may also be other documents, but these four are the primary categories the documents will fall into. A process server will deliver the documents to the target individual. The process server cannot be someone who is involved in the case involving the individual getting served.
According to the legal procedure within the US, every party within a case has to become notified whenever an action takes place against them in court. This makes processing serving an integral element of due process.
Each state has its own rules governing the civil procedure of process serving. On a federal level, there are special rules that apply as well. Process service can also be conducted on the international level.
What are the Different Types With Regard to Service of Process
Rules of civil procedure vary between state-to-state. Service of process can be performed in several different way, depending upon the type of document and the rules which govern the type of case. Most subpoenas and contempt citation require personal service, without exception. Another method is called a substituted process, which most civil actions, in most state will allow, if the actual defendant is bot present at the time of service. This service of process involves leaving documents with an adult resident living at the home of the individual with the legal action against them. The documents can also be left with a management-level employee at the workplace of the individual in some case when the Defendant is a business instead of an individual. Another, but less used, method of process serving involves posting the documents in a prominent location. This method also requires the sending of a copy of the documents via certified mail and is usually by court order from the presiding judge assigned to the case.
Who Can Be a Process Server
Besides private investigators acting as process servers, most individuals over the age of eighteen years, not a party to the action being brought and without any felony convictions can be a process server unless there are licensing requirements in the state where the process is to be effected. Each state has its own rules and licensing requirements regarding process service. Some states require process servers to be licensed, whereas others do not. Likewise, some states demand that process servers are registered within a certain county or state, or at least appointed to be serving within a certain county within the state.
The states which currently demand process servers carry a license are the following:
- California – Requires Registration
- Montana – Requires Registration
- Texas – Has a Standing Order issued by the Court Clerk after a background check has been cleared
- Washington – Requires Registration
Who Gets Served
For the service of process to be upstanding, the correct individual has to be served. Sometimes, an individual can only be described and not named. In such a case, a fictional name can be given to them, such as John Doe.
In other situations, when the individual is not a person, but is a corporation, a managing agent, director, officer, or someone else officially considered to be an agent of the corporation can be served, such as registered agent or attorney of records for the company or any officer of the business..
In cases where the person with a legal action against them is a minor, or someone unable to handle their legal affairs, a parent, legal guardian, or another person entrusted to care for the individual, or their affairs, can be given the documents. However, sometimes it is not entirely clear who that individual is. In such a circumstance, the court can decide on who should be the proper individual to be provided those documents. Once appointed by the court, the service of process can continue.
In some situations, there are multiple individuals getting sued. These circumstances call for each person getting sued to be served. A common example of this is a legal business partnership.
When the Service of Process Can Occur
The ideal time for the service of process to occur will depend on what the law is in the specific jurisdiction of the individual getting served. However, that person must be served within the Statute of Limitations for taking that specific type of action. This action initiates a lawsuit, so it must adhere to the legal window of opportunity.
In several states, a service of process is not allowed on Sundays. It is also may prohibited from being performed on legal holidays in certain states. As with the rule of civil procedure, these restrictions can vary from state-to-state.
Hire Professional Process Servers
Service of process is required by law. This is to ensure fairness in regards to giving someone an opportunity to respond to a lawsuit against them. Process serving must be conducted in a specific way. If it is not, a court of law has the authority to dismiss the lawsuit.
Based in Baltimore, Maryland, RCI International Process Service and Investigations has a wealth of experience providing process serving on local, state, national, and international levels.
We can work with delivering a service of process internationally, although you may be required to translate the legal documents prior to us serving them to the target individual. If you need them to be translated, we provide affordable translation services, where all translations are certified and abide by international rules of service. If you are unsure whether the country you are serving the documents in requires them to be translated, we can clear up the confusion. We have extensive knowledge of what is needed, allowing us to give you accurate information.
We employ an array of methods, which include the Hague Convention, Letters Rogatory, and even local agents for direct service of process similar to what is accomplished inside the United States, where it is acceptable to do so. Whether you need service of process in Europe or Asia, or somewhere else, RCI International Process Service and Investigations has you covered.
Contact us today at (410) 693-8992 or email us at email@example.com to receive a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you with process serving. We are also able to help you get time extensions, as well as comply with any court orders. Thanks to our global network and experience, you will receive expedient and efficient process serving services.