Having your legal documents served is a very important part of the litigation process, and many people may not know how to hire a process server or what to ask. Hiring the wrong process server could result in costly delays and even having your case dismissed, so we’ve compiled a checklist of things to look for and avoid. It’s important to locate a trusted professional, verify their qualifications and be mindful of their fees. There are other helpful hints that we’ve included, and hopefully, this makes the process of hiring a process server a little easier.
Here is your checklist for hiring a process server:
•Find a Trusted Process Server
Trusted networks are great because the process servers are pre-screened and you have someone to call outside of the server if there is an issue.
•Verify License or Registration and Association Members
Not all states and counties require process servers to be licensed, so it’s important to check.
•Ask if They Have an E&O Policy or Bond
Although not required in many states, some process servers are bonded and carry Errors and Omissions Insurance.
•Check Their Website
A company’s website can help establish their legitimacy, and can give you more insight into the values of the people who will serve your papers.
•Search for Internet Complaints
An internet search of the company’s name and ‘complaints’ can reveal a lot about their history and if they have any unsatisfied former clients.
•Ask About Their Experience
Find out how long they have been in business, if they have an area of expertise, and what their success rate is. But beware, a 100% success rate isn’t realistic.
•Ask for Recommendations
A trusted process server should have access to letters of recommendation and testimonials, which will give you great insight about their customer service.
•Be Mindful of Price – You Get What You Pay For
$45-$70 is standard for a no-rush serve, depending on the area. It’s fairly inexpensive when you consider what is being performed.
•Give Specific Service Instructions
Be specific about the who, what, and where of your serve and your preferred method of receiving updates. This can help make the serve go more smoothly.
•Verify the Details and Get Them in Writing
Finalize the details of the service fee, additional fees, the number of attempts, court filing, deadlines and updates, and confirm with an email.
•Find Out How They Will Update You
There are many process serving software solutions that allow access, and is an easy way to get details and affidavits.
•Don’t Send Them the Only Copy
It’s important that you have copies for your own records, so make sure you keep copies of the paperwork for yourself.