What is a Process Server?
A process server is a person
employed to deliver a summons or
complaint to an individual being sued, or
to deliver a subpoena to a witness.
This delivery, or serving, is known
as the service of process, or
Service of process is the service of
writs, summonses, subpoenas, and
other court documents. The act
signifies the delivering to or
leaving of such documents with the
party to whom, or with whom, they
ought to be delivered or left. When
they are so delivered, they are then
said to have been served.
A more formal way to look at the
service of process is the procedure
employed to give legal notice to the
person (defendant, etc.) of a court
or administrative body proceeding,
to the person that the document is
directed to. This enables the person to respond
to the proceeding before the court,
body or other tribunal. Usually,
notice is furnished by delivering a
set of court documents (summons,
complaints, subpoenas, orders to
show cause, writs, and other court
documents) to the person
to be served.
In most Anglo-American legal systems,
such as in the United States, the service of
process is effectuated by a legal process server who must be an adult
and (in most jurisdictions) not a party to the litigation.
Legal process servers serve
(deliver) legal documents such as
summons, complaints, subpoenas,
orders to show cause, writs, and
other court documents to an
individual that is involved in a
court case. The legal document(s)
must be served by the process server
in accordance with the rules and
laws in the area, county, or state
that the service is being performed
in. Service is considered when the
documents are personally handed to
the defendant, or when the defendant
cannot be served personally,
sub-serving to someone in the same
household or business. After serving
the documents, a process server must
complete an Affidavit of Service,
which is also called a Proof of
Service. This Affidavit or Proof of
Service verifies that the papers
were served by the process server.
It must be notarized and returned to
the party that requested service.
Some jurisdictions require or permit process to be served by a
court official or court officer, such as a sheriff, marshal,
constable, or bailiff. There may be licensing requirements for
private process servers, as in New York City. Other
jurisdictions, such as Georgia, require a court order allowing a
private person to serve process. Many private investigators
perform process serving as part of their duties.
In non-English speaking countries such as France, the
Netherlands, Germany, Japan, and China, which follow the
continental legal system based on the Napoleonic legal codes,
service of process is performed by a huissier de justice
(gerechtsdeurwaarder in Dutch), either in person or through the
mail. In those countries, there are two different types of
service — signification and notification. The huissier is only
responsible for signification, the more formal type of service.
of process. (2006, September 23). In
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Learn how to become
a process server in our Free
Process Server Information section.