6 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Process Server


Legal matters can be stressful—but the right process server can make your life a lot easier.

A process server ensures that legal paperwork is served to the correct individual in a court case, playing a vital role in the success of your case. 

It may sound simple, but not all process servers provide equally good service. Inexperienced servers may serve the wrong person, forget to file an Affidavit of Service, or be unable to substantiate that an individual was served. Defendants can contest the service by claiming incorrect or incomplete service of process, which can compromise your entire case.

Selecting a reliable professional, on the other hand, helps ensure that your court case goes smoothly and doesn’t face unnecessary delays. 

If you need to hire a process server, these questions can help with the selection process. 

1. How long have you been in business?

Experience counts. When defendants are hard to track down, or cross-state or international service is required (and especially when service is contested), it pays to work with a process server who knows the ropes. 

DGR has been in business for 40 years. We have employees in every state and have effectuated service of process in over 100 countries. When it comes to completing service, we’ve seen it all, and we’re ready to put that experience to work for you.

2. How much will service cost?

The amount may vary depending on location, if there are parking or travel fees, if you need same-day or rush service, or if the process server is forced to make multiple attempts to serve papers to the defendant. 

Your process server should be straightforward and transparent about all costs. Be cautious about no-serve, no-pay pricing!

If you’d like to discuss your specific situation, contact us for a rate.

3. How long will it take to complete service?

There are a lot of variables that can affect the time it takes to effectuate service of process. Some jurisdictions prohibit serving defendants at their homes on Sundays or holidays, for instance. 

Sometimes, it takes a little extra time to track down a defendant, particularly if that defendant is attempting to evade service. And, not surprisingly, international process service usually takes longer than domestic service. 

Our mission is to effectuate service as quickly as possible.

4. What tools do you use to locate people?

Not all defendants can be found easily, and it often falls to the server to find them. Servers use databases and web and social media searches and more to find defendants. 

A good process server will use methods that are both efficient and legal. If a process server crosses legal or ethical boundaries instead, the service might not hold up in court.

5. Are you certified in accordance with your state/jurisdiction?

It’s important to make sure that your process server is qualified to effectuate service in the region where the papers will be served. You’ll need to hire a process server who is qualified to serve in the region where the papers will be served and filed.

Be sure that your processor is licensed to effectuate service that will hold up in court (and keep your case 5. moving).

6. How can I check my service progress?

A good process server should always stay in communication with you so that you’re never in the dark about what’s going on. You should be able to expect timely updates, whether by email, text, or phone call. 

Once papers have been served, your server will provide the attorney of record with an Affidavit of Service. If the intended person cannot be located, the process server will provide an Affidavit of Due Diligence, which allows you to pursue other means of service.

Finding the right process server

In the midst of a stressful legal situation, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether your case could be compromised by an inexperienced or careless process server. Asking the right questions helps ensure effective, efficient service, which in turn improves your chances in court.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help, contact us to schedule a consultation.

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