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How to Hire a Process Server to Serve Court and Legal Papers
Your typical court case is something of a complicated legal process. Therefore, you may find that you need to hire a process server. This is an individual who will deliver legal documents to the intended recipient by hand. This process is to ensure that the recipient cannot pretend they haven’t received the legal papers by post or they may have already denied receiving the paperwork.
Unfortunately, posted documents can get lost in transit, tracked packages can be signed by non intended recipients and individuals can move home without notifying you, the process server is a vital resource for tracking the recipient down and physically attending their residents or work place. Also; be mindful most legal documents require a third party to serve the papers and provide the correct professional statement of proof that includes the who - what - where and when the document was served. This is really important to be compliant. Here’s what you need to know about hiring a process server.
Selecting a Process Server
Before you get started in hiring a process server, you need to make sure you understand exactly what service you are being provided with. The details of each service will vary from one provider to the next, so let’s take a look at some of the job-specific information you should check with your process server before deciding who to use:
- Is the process server registered with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO)? The papers will contain personal private & confidential information so the professional process server must be registered with the ICO and will respect and comply with personal data regulations.
- Is the process server a member of Association of British Investigators? The reason this is advisable to check is because the ABI operates a self-regulation system so all members are accountable and are required to be qualified. Members agree to updated criminal record checks plus hold full insurance.
- What will each process serve charge me? Is VAT on top? Will I be paying for each delivery attempt, or is there a fee fixed?
- Will the process server offer multiple delivery attempts?
- Where will the process server deliver to?
- What kind of proof does the process server provide me with once served & does my process server appear confident in providing me with the correct proof of service?
- What information do I need to give the process server before delivery?
- Is the process server experienced and knows what they are talking about?
If you know what you’re looking for, check out the website of your chosen process server and don't forget to see if they’ve got recent reviews or customer testimonials you can look at.
Hiring Your Process Server
Hiring a process server begins when you contact the company directly in order to agree on the details and see if you can establish a good working relationship between yourself and your process server. Most process serving companies will require the money upfront. Be very careful not to fixate on the cheapest price when selecting a process serving company, unfortunately like with many industries there are a lot of inexperienced individuals claiming to be process servers who offer low fixed fee’s but cannot carry out the job properly or lawfully so often provides a poor service which can be fundamental to your case, ‘if its appears too good to be true, it generally is’.
Almost every day we have calls from people in the U.K. and overseas who have hired a process server and the documents are either still not served; or unable to make contact with the process server they hired; or have not received the statement etc.
Legal documents are time sensitive and must be treated as such. After all, you have got this far and now have the papers ready to serve so it’s worth a 2 minute read here before you instruct.
Red flags to watch out for if you instruct a cheap or inexperienced process server:
1. The process server pretends to visit the
address and therefore fakes attendances and
states that there was no reply at the door.
2. Poor quality on proofs of service which can
include spelling mistakes on certificates of service /
statement of service / affidavits and bad grammar.
3. Poor or lack of communication.
4. Takes the money and then does not do the job.
5. Completes the proof of service incorrectly or on the wrong template for the individual legal document.
6. Does not provide you, the client with a copy of the proof of service at all or in a timely manner.
7. Is not familiar with the current laws and rules about what - when - how is an effective serve and what the courts will deem 'good service.'
8. Is aggressive & intimidating to the respondent or defendant when serving your document.
9. Does not care about you or your situation so seems to be only interested in getting the money.
10. The process server is not insured.
11. The process server does not adhere to GDPR or data protection rules.
12. The process server has no reviews or fake reviews on his or her site ie: John Doe Process Servers reviewed by Jane Doe!
You really need to ensure that your process server has excellent communication with you at the first point of call and throughout, willing to answer your questions and take the time to understand your situation. They should willing to be flexible with the attendances if required, such as visiting anti social hours / over weekends. You need to be confident that your process server will do their best to get your job done effectively and in a timely manner.
Make sure that they are familiar with the various appropriate proofs of service once service has been effected as providing the wrong paperwork for court or content can be catastrophic for your case & potentially cause delays or even risk dismissing your case.
Once you are happy you have chosen the right process server, you need to deliver the legal documents to them. This can be via email, post or collection. These documents should be easy to read and contain relevant information. It is also wise to include information about the recipient too. Their home address, place of employment also brief details of the history of the case matter. Other useful information to provide the process server can include areas that the subject visit, any known routines that they have and hobbies. Plus a physical description and if possible a photograph as you want to give the process server as many chances as possible to get in contact and recognise the recipient so ideally you need to provide good information.
Finally, the process server can start work. A good process server will make sure that they stay in contact with you about the progress they’ve made.
From there, you can relax and trust that your professional process server is undertaking her / his role effectively. Once the server has personally served the individual or company, they have succeeded in their mission and provide you with a document of proof of service.
To contact a compliant UK Process Server today, please send your documents to us at firstname.lastname@example.org