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Federal and State Laws Prohibiting Interference with Service of Process

Rules of Civil Procedure are from CivilProcedure.info Federal Rules of Civil Procedure site

Federal Law Prohibiting Interference with Service of Process:

  • According to the Federal Law on this subject (Title 18 U.S.C. § 1501), which provides in relevant part:

    Assault on Process Server
    Whoever knowingly and willingly obstructs, resists or opposes any officer of the United States, or other person duly authorized, in serving, or attempting to serve or execute, any legal or judicial writ or process of any court of the United States...shall, except as otherwise provided by law, be fined not more than $300 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

State Laws Prohibiting Interference with Service of Process:

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CODE
Title 22 Criminal Offenses
Sec. 22-722. Prohibited Acts; Penalty

(a.) A person commits the offense of obstruction of justice if that person:
(2.) Knowingly uses intimidating or physical force, threatens or corruptly persuades another person, or by threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede a witness or officer in any official proceeding, with intent to:
(c.) Evade a legal process that summons the person to appear as a witness or to produce a document in an official proceeding

2000 FLORIDA STATUTES
Title XLVI – Crimes
Chapter 843 – Obstructing Justice

843.01 – Resisting officer with violence
843.02 – Resisting officer without violence to his or her person. – Whoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer as defined in s. 943.10(1), (2), (3), (6), (7), (8), or (9); member of the parole commission or any administrative aide or supervisor; personnel or representative of the Dept. of Law Enforcement; or other person legally authorized to execute process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty, without offering or doing violence to the person of the officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in S. 775.082 or s. 775.083

ILLINOIS COMPILED STATUTES
Criminal Offenses
Criminal Code of 1961
(720 ILCS 5/31-3)
Sec. 31-3. Obstructing service of process.

Whoever knowingly resists or obstructs the authorized service or execution of any civil or criminal process or order of any court commits a Class B misdemeanor.

IOWA CODE 1999
719.1 Interference with Official Acts.

1. A person who … who knowingly resists or obstructs the service or execution by any authorized person of any civil or criminal process or order of any court, commits a serious misdemeanor. …
3. The terms “resist” and “obstruct,” as used in this section, do not include verbal harassment unless the verbal harassment is accompanied by a present ability and apparent intention to execute a verbal threat physically.

KANSAS STATUTES
Chapter 21 – Crimes and Punishments
21-3808. Obstructing legal process or official duty.

(a) Obstructing legal process or official duty is knowingly and intentionally obstructing, resisting or opposing any person authorized by law to serve process in the service or execution or in the attempt to serve or execute any writ, warrant, process or order of a court, or in the discharge of any official duty.
(b) (1) Obstructing legal process … in the case of a felony, … is a severity level 9, nonperson felony.
(2) Obstructing legal process … in a case of misdemeanor, … is a class A nonperson misdemeanor.

MICHIGAN PENAL CODE
750.479 Resisting or obstructing officer in discharge of duty

Any person who shall knowingly and willfully obstruct, resist or oppose any sheriff, coroner, township treasurer, constable or any other officer or person duly authorized, in serving, or attempting to serve … any process, rule or order made or issued by lawful authority … or who shall assault, beat or wound any … constable or other officer duly authorized, while serving, or attempting to serve … any such process, … shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 2 years, or by a fine of not more than 1,000 dollars.

MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972
Sec. 97-9-75. Resisting service of process

Any person who knowingly and wilfully opposes or resists any officer or other authorized person in serving or attempting to serve or execute any legal writ or process, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

MISSOURI REVISED STATUTES
CHAPTER 575 – OFFENSES AGAINST THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
575.160 Interference with legal process

1. A person commits the crime of interference with legal process if, knowing any person is authorized by law to serve process, for the purpose of preventing such person from effecting the service of any process, he interferes with or obstructs such person.
2. “Process” includes any writ, summons, subpoena, warrant or other than an arrest warrant, or other process or order of the court.
3. Interference with legal process is a class B misdemeanor 575.170. Refusing to make an employee available for service of process
1. Any employer, or any agent who is in charge of a business establishment, commits the crime of refusing to make an employee available for service of process if he knowingly refuses to assist any officer authorized by law to serve process who calls at such business establishment during the working hours of an employee for the purpose of serving process on such employee, by failing or refusing to make such employee available for service of process.
2. Refusing to make an employee available for service of process is a class C misdemeanor.

MONTANA CODE ANNOTATED 2000
25-3-105. Person serving process - penalty for obstruction.

A process server registered under chapter 1, part 11, a licensed attorney, or a sheriff, constable, coroner, elisor, or other government employee who is acting in the course of the person’s employment while serving process is a public servant for the purpose of determining the offense of obstructing a public servant as provided in 45-7-302. A person who obstructs a person serving process is guilty of obstruction of a public servant and is punishable as provided in 45-7-302.

NEW MEXICO STATUTES ANNOTATED
Chapter 30 – Criminal Offenses
30-22-1. Resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.

Resisting, evading or obstructing an officer consists of:
A. Knowingly obstructing, resisting or opposing any officer of this state or any other duly authorized person serving or attempting to serve or execute any process or any rule or order of any of the courts of this state or any other judicial writ or process.

SOUTH DAKOTA CODIFIED LAWS
Title 22 – Crimes
Chapter 11 – Obstruction of the Administration of Govt.
Sec. 22-11-1. Resisting execution of service of process.

Any person who resists the execution or service of any legal process is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED
39-16-602 Resisting stop, frisk, half, arrest or search-prevention or obstruction of service of legal writ or process.

(c) It is an offense for a person to intentionally prevent or obstruct an officer of the state or any other person known to be a civil process server in serving, or attempting to serve or execute, any legal writ, or process.
(d) A violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

TEXAS PENAL CODE
Chapter 38. Obstructing Governmental Operation
Sec. 38.16. Preventing Execution of Civil Process

(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly by words or physical action prevents the execution of any process in a civil cause.
(b) It is an exception to the application of this section that the actor evaded service of process by avoiding detection.
(c) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

UTAH CODE ANNOTATED 1953
76-8-301. Interference with Public Servant

(1) A person is guilty of interference with a public servant if he:
(a) uses force, violence, intimidation, or engages in any other unlawful act with a purpose to interfere with a public servant performing or purporting to perform an official function; or
(b) knowingly or intentionally interferes with the lawful service of process by a public servant.
(2) Interference with a public servant is a class B misdemeanor.

CODE OF VIRGINIA
Title 8.01.
CIVIL REMEDIES AND PROCEDURES
§ 18.2-409. Resisting or obstructing execution of legal process.

Every person acting jointly or in combination with any other person to resist or obstruct the execution of any legal process shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

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