What to Look For in a Professional Process Server
When you want to hire a professional process server or process serving company, there are some qualities that you should make sure the process server possesses. Process serving is an integral part of the justice system because it ensures that every person is notified of a lawsuit or court order under the Constitution. A person’s right to Due Process is protected because of the work that process servers do every day.
The typical process server must meet standards that are put forth by each state. Every state has different requirements for process servers. Some states do not have licensing requirements for process servers while other states do require that a process server obtain a license. Regardless, you will want to make sure that the process server or process serving company you contract follow state/local licensing requirements.
While some states require process servers to be bonded in order to serve process others do not. Regardless, it is important that the process server or process serving company that you hire have some sort of liability insurance and or E&O Insurance coverage. Since the process serving industry is unpredictable it is better to be safe than sorry.
The best process servers have completed a training course. A training course will usually have some required classes that must be completed before the process server can take the written examination. In a process serving course, a person will learn what the particular state laws that he or she must abide by are. Also, individuals learn about the best ways to approach individuals in cases that may be highly contentious. Process servers learn how to look out for their own safety as well as the safety of the person that he or she is delivering documents for in the process.
At the end of one’s completion of coursework, one must take a written and closed book exam. The exam will test the person’s knowledge on state laws and the proper procedures for process serving. Also, one will usually be tested on the Code of Ethics that a particular state has for its process servers.
Effective process servers gain experience by being exposed to different situations and developing new strategies to serve process. Unfortunately, not every process is an “easy delivery” some services require more attention and a greater level of awareness by the process serve. When you hire a process server or process serving company inquire about difficult cases that they have encountered and how they handled the situation.
Make sure the process server that you hire has the proper equipment in place to perform the job in an effective manner. An effective process server should be equipped with a GPS to help he/she get around, a cell phone/Smartphone to communicate with his/her clients, a computer for searching records (if need be), and a printer/portable scanner. In essence, a process server’s vehicle is their office so they have to be fully equipped to operate from his/her vehicle.
Watch out for Guarantees
When you hire a process server, you’re hiring them for an attempt to serve a process. There is absolutely no way they can 100% guarantee that they will be able to serve the intended recipient. So beware when a process server or process serving company tells you they can guarantee service.
There are a number of factors that determine the cost of serving a process. It may be contingent upon turn-around-time, number of service attempts, service location, etc. Some process servers or process serving companies charge $45-$100 per service. Process Serving companies tend to charge higher fees as they offer more comprehensive customer support and online web applications for clients to track their status making it a seamless process.
What good is a completed service to a client if the client has no knowledge that the service has been completed? Well, unfortunately this is a common theme with process servers who have poor customer service skills but boost about how effective they are in the field. It is very important to make sure that the process server or process serving company you hire is able to effectively communicate his/her service details to you through email/phone. The best customer service is when the process server provides the update FIRST rather than the client initiating the request for an update. Furthermore, receiving a callback from a process server a day or two after requesting a status update OR, waiting until the day before the service deadline to receive a status update from a process server could be a red flag.