Process service from a plaintiff’s/petitioner’s perspective In general, anything to do with court bring a knot to most peoples stomach. Either you are appearing for a traffic ticket, divorce, or maybe even an eviction. While it’s easy to understand that feeling for court, being the plaintiff in a court case puts you in a different position. Being the plaintiff /petitioner is a completely different set of circumstances. Filing your documents is fairly straight forward. One would go to the courthouse, fill out the paperwork, pay the fee for filing and your case has begun. Pretty easy right? The next step can be a little more tricky. Once the papers are given back to you by the court clerk, it is your responsibility to have them served, but you are a party to the case and therefore cannot serve them yourself. Process service is the technical term of someone, namely the Sheriff, Constable or Process server giving your named defendant/respondent the legal documents. While all three mentioned technically do the same thing, they are not the same. In general, the Sheriff is paid a salary and couldn’t care less if your papers get served or not. That’s not to say they don’t try to serve them, but one attempt at someone’s home at noon on a workday is hardly an effort at service and then they move on to the next home. A Constable is close to the same. The Constable is elected official, but are also paid a salary and have no concern for your specific case. Again, that’s not to say Constables do not attempt service or do not know how to serve papers. Lastly, Process Servers. Certified Process Servers also serve papers. Most process servers are small business entrepreneurs that are required to take county exams and mandated to continuing education each year. Process servers take a personal interest in your file because it is their business to. Process servers make attempts at odd hours such as nights and weekends unlike the 9am-5pm attempts that the Sheriff and Constable make during the week.
Some things you as the plaintiff/petitioner can do to ensure that the process server obtains service is to give as much information as possible. Information that can be tremendously helpful are things like pictures of the defendant. Having a picture of the defendant could be the difference of obtaining service or being lied to and leaving without serving the defendant. The next may be the hours that you know the defendant is home. Guessing is not helping, so if you know the defendant works until five please don’t tell the server he is home by three thirty each so the server can catch him coming home. Unless agreed upon, the server will not wait from three thirty until five thirty when the defendant actually arrives home. Another example would be the kind of vehicle the defendant drives. While license plates would be an asset, the simple make and color of the vehicle would be great. Another great way to help is to get the papers to the server quickly. Several individuals let their documents sit in their possession until a few days before the documents expire or they are already expired and then was them served. Please get your papers to your server as soon as you can. Even if you don’t have the correct address, or missing an apartment number or have no address at all. The more time you give your server, the more effective they can be and with the extra time, can easily track down your defendant if you have no idea where your defendant lives. Lastly, do not taunt or let the defendant know you are suing or serving them. When you give the defendant/respondent notice that papers are coming, they will hide from the server which only slows or stops your case from moving forward.
Contact Desert City Services for all of your Process Serving needs