Process Server vs. Sheriff: Who Should You Use?

The process of process service (har har) isn’t always easy. People can be difficult to find. They cover their tracks, skip town, or cut ties. Rather than face the music and own up to the fact that they have a legal case to defend, they decide that it’s easier to start a new life somewhere else.

It must make sense at the time.

You might think that because this person is so hard to find and that he’s flouting the law, it would also make sense to pony up with the most law you can to fire back: a sheriff’s department. Maybe even a state marshall if you can! Wouldn’t that really make your ex-husband shake in his boots? Seeing a strapping state marshal stomping up to the front door with papers in hand, booming in his official voice, “YOU’VE BEEN SERVED, SON!”?

Not so fast. While that does make for a marvelous mental image, there are significant advantages to hiring a process server who is dedicated to the craft over a sheriff or even a state marshal.

5 Advantages of a Process Server

1. A process server knows the relevant state and local laws, while a sheriff or state marshal knows all the laws. That might seem like an advantage, but it’s like having an entire set of encyclopedias when all you need is one little book. You’re constantly shuffling through pages upon pages when you only need a small passage. Why take on more than what you need?

2. A process server is dedicated to one job, while a sheriff is obviously dedicated to many more tasks and might not get to your job for a while. He’s off dealing with traffic violations, break-ins, thefts, and things considered far more serious than what a process server can get done in much less time. He is going to prioritize the “more important” jobs. But your job is important to you, and a process server knows this. You would only come first.

3. A process server can provide federal service of process, while a sheriff can usually only provide service for state or local cases.

4. A process server will be dedicated to making you happy and satisfied, while a sheriff or marshal is only going to bother with getting it done — maybe. Customer service is important!

5. A process server is definitely going to have a proper estimate, offer accurate travel costs, know when he will have to wait (proper times of day to serve), etc.; marshals and sheriffs might not be able to tack on their cost estimates until afterward and thus not offer you an estimate until the end, which is not a good way to know how much you’re spending.

If you need a process server, Orange Legal can help. Contact us today to get started.