If someone has filed a lawsuit against you or you are involved in some legal case, at some point, you will be formally served. It is best not to try to avoid process service because eventually the case will go on without you and you will not be able to defend yourself. There is no way for you to completely stop proceedings by dodging process service. There are specific rules that guide what is legal for a process server to do I an effort to complete their job and there are only certain areas where a process server can legally serve you.
Where you can legally be served depends on where you live because every jurisdiction is governed by its own laws and regulations. But, generally speaking, a process server can serve your legal documents anywhere that is not private property or a private residence into which they have not been granted access. That means all public places are fair game. You can be served at home or at work if you answer the door to the process server or they are granted access to your workplace. A process server cannot break the law to serve papers which means they cannot trespass or disguise themselves in order to serve you papers. But, as a reminder, there are other means and methods by which you can be served if you cannot be physically located so, as aforementioned, it is best not to avoid process service and rather peaceably accept and respond to the complaint.
What methods do process servers use?
Legal actions involve serving the defendants with documents. These documents will notify the charges of a proceeding and other details. However, some individuals are not easy to reach. They may evade or completely avoid process servers. To avoid situations, professional process servers use different methods.
The special method used by process servers involves conducting extended stakeouts. They study the defendants every day and evaluate their routines in an attempt to catch them. This method is also used as an information-gathering tool to connect with the targets.
Another frequently used method is disguising as delivery persons. They may pose as pizza delivery persons or some other professionals to deliver documents to the defendants. They may make several delivery attempts and even track the location of individuals.
Every person’s driving record will contain information about their exact location. Process servers will use this info to their advantage and locate a person at their residence or business place. In some cases, vehicle plates are also used to expose the current location when they cannot be reached at a normal place.
What process servers cannot do?
The main task of process servers is to deliver legal documents. They use a variety of methods to reach defendants. Even an individual cannot be reached, they place a notice on the party’s address to deliver the relevant document filed for their case.
There are some things process servers cannot do during this proceeding. First, they cannot trespass on a property unless they enter a located building without permission from the residents. If they cannot reach the person, they should wait or come back later. They can even track their routines to serve papers in public places.
Most importantly, they cannot harass or threaten the defendants while serving paper. It includes not pretending to law enforcement officers. If a person refuses to open the door, they cannot force them to open the door or use any other illegal methods. These requirements will vary from one state to another.
Some of the frequently asked questions asked about process servers
What time can papers be served?
The time process servers can serve legal documents will depend on the state and its legislation. Generally, they can reach defendants from 6 am – 10 pm. Judges may also prompt some special circumstances where process serves can breach this time limit.
Can serves reach you at work?
The answer is yes. Arizona process servers will serve documents without providing any personal information on a workplace. Since this proceeding is delicate in nature, they generally avoid such circumstances that may lead to this practice. The serving will depend on the office restrictions as well.
How many times can they come to a house?
In general, process servers will make three attempts. They reach a house at different times of the day. Judges can make some special exceptions depending on the requirements of the case. So, further attempts are even possible.