Tips & Advice
What is skip tracing?
Skip tracing is tracking an individual who is missing, has defaulted on a debt, or is a fugitive from justice.
Can process servers work across state lines?
Process servers can cross state lines to serve papers, but there are exceptions and limitations. In cases of criminal activity in which the defendant is out of the state the complaint was filed in, most times it is legal to serve them. However, in some cases where a witness is being served outside of the state the complaint was filed in, the plaintiff may need to file charges in the witness’ state in order to allow service. The laws can be tricky in these situations so it’s recommended you consult council to know your rights and limitations and the state laws when attempting service across state lines.
Are there any restrictions on the time and location of serving a process?
While rules can vary by location, a general rule is that papers must be served between 6 a.m.-10 p.m, and they cannot be served on Saturday or Sunday if the defendant observes either as a holy day. Serving papers on these days, if the defendant is religiously observant on either day, can actually be a misdemeanor. There are variations and exceptions to these rules, such as the case being a criminal proceeding or the server is granted an exemption due to extenuating circumstances.
Does a process server need to be licensed?
While some states do require a process server to be licensed, not all do. However, some states do require that process servers be registered in their state or county, or appointed to serve in specific counties.
What are the benefits of hiring a process server?
Benefits of hiring a process serve include speed of service, servers knowledge of relevant laws, their ability to serve federal papers (sheriffs and deputies are usually only allowed to serve state and local federal papers), and cost. For instance, private servers might be cheaper than a sheriff. Private servers might also be able to accommodate special requests, like high-risk service or traveling to serve the papers.
How long does service of process take?
The process of serving has variables, but most process servers will estimate a turn-around time for you. Different servers and situations will have different ones. Most offer several levels of service, for example, some can offer a rush or same day service in which the first attempt to serve occurs within three days. Variables such as finding the defendant, a missing defendant and other factors can obviously affect the process, so be aware.
What does a process server do?
A process server’s primary role is document retrieval, court document filings, and delivering or ‘serving’ legal documents such as write warrants and subpoenas to defendants.
Claims can be served by a sheriff or deputy, a registered process server, or even a friend or family member over 18 years of age, as long as they are not one of the parties involved in the claim.
How much does it cost to hire a process server?
The cost to hire a server generally depends on the urgency of the service. A routine serve, where service is initially attempted with five to seven days of receiving the papers, can be as little as $20 and as high as $100. There are fluctuations in the service dependent on factors like location and demand, but the national average cost is $45-$75.
What is a process server?
A process server is a person, often a sheriff or deputy that delivers documents such as writs, warrants or subpoenas that compel a defendant to appear in court.