What is it, anyway?
When you think “service of process,” your mind will split along one of two paths. You’ll either think of a man wearing a quiet suit and carrying a sensible briefcase who knocks on the door one afternoon…
At a total loss, you’ll say, “Yes?” wondering who this person is and why he’s appeared at your doorstep.
“You’ve been served,” the man will say as he drops a neat stack of paperwork — the process — in your outstretched hands before spinning on his heel and marching away.
That’s one way. Or, your mind goes the other way, in a Dog the Bounty Hunter-esque adventure of someone getting chased across the country in a series of daring attempts to serve those court papers.
Some of those being served do everything in their power to avoid it. It’s better just to accept service of process; otherwise, the court will approve the mailing of papers to your last-known address or publication in your local newspaper as substitution.
However, everyone has an equal right to know that they’re being summoned by the courts. That right is guaranteed in the United States Constitution in the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. No matter what, those defendants have a right to be found and notified of the case pending against them.
What Methods do Process Servers Use?
Process servers use a combination of skip tracing, document retrieval, and courier services. Skip tracers are an elaborate network of investigators, detectives, bounty hunters, bail bondsmen, retired police officers, informants, and officials all around the country who use a variety of different methods to find the individuals for whom they’re searching. Therefore they have such a high rate of success. Analyzed information can include the following:
- Credit reports
- Loan applications
- Utility bills
- Online/social media footprint
- Public records
- Criminal background checks
Process servers can then take that information and begin legal proceedings by delivering documents to an individual or corporation in any location across the nation. Courier services and document retrieval ensures that papers are picked up from the courthouse and are served upon the appropriate individual. This process is imperative to the justice system because it means that due process is upheld and that the defendant is notified of the proceedings against him.
If a case isn’t properly served, it can legally be dismissed. Don’t take that chance. Talk with Orange Legal today and ask about our process service!