Contributed by: Amanda Sexton

DGR Voted “Best Of” For Messenger Service In New Jersey

Posted by | DGR News, Messenger Service | No Comments

best messenger service New JerseyFor the sixth consecutive year, DGR – The Source for Legal Support has been voted the “Best Of” in messenger service companies in New Jersey by the legal community in the annual New Jersey Law Journal “Best Of” survey.

Anyone who works at a law firm is eligible to cast their vote in the survey, which covers a broad range of legal support service providers, from litigation support to financial services to technology.

“We’re very grateful to our clients for taking the vote and give us this honor”, says Jerry Colasurdo, President and owner of DGR. “The longevity of our employees helps tremendously when it comes to messenger service. Over the years they’ve learned the best routes, how to quickly navigate the local courts and how to efficiently handle any delivery while accounting for potential traffic or delays”.

With more than 90 employees, DGR offers same-day messenger service in New Jersey for firms of every size. DGR also won the “Best Of” in process service for its national and international process service and its sister company, On The Lookout Investigations, won in the Private Investigations and Security category.

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DGR Voted “Best Of” New Jersey Process Server In NJLJ Survey

Posted by | DGR News | No Comments

best of New Jersey process serverFor the sixth year in a row, DGR – The Source for Legal Support has been voted the “Best Of” in process service companies in New Jersey by the legal community in the annual New Jersey Law Journal “Best Of” survey.

Anyone who works at a law firm is eligible to cast their vote in the survey, which covers a broad range of legal support service providers, from litigation support to financial services to technology.

“We’re always so grateful to our clients for their recognition of our hard work and the level of service we strive to provide”, says Jerry Colasurdo, owner and President of DGR. “Our team works diligently day in and day out to make sure we’re exceeding our client’s expectations and really setting the bar with what they should when it comes to their process server. Without our staff there’s no way we could have achieved this, so I’m looking forward to yet another year with such outstanding employees”.

With more than 90 employees and 36 years of experience, DGR offers local, national and international process service to firms of all sizes.  DGR also won the “Best Of” in messenger service for the sixth year and its sister company, On The Lookout Investigations, won in the Private Investigations and Security category for the fifth year in a row.

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The Future of Webcam Notarization and Process Service

Posted by | Notary | No Comments

webcam notarizationNotarization is one of the few things that have remained unchanged in the past few centuries. Yet the passing of bills in several states is about to propel it into the digital age with the use of webcam notarization rather than in person notarization which could impact the future of process service and affidavits.

Each year hundreds of millions of documents in the US are notarized including wills, citizenship forms, mortgages and affidavits. To help facilitate the process, Virginia became the first to create a remote notarization law in 2012 with Texas following in their footsteps.

Today there are several sites and apps that allow for remote notaries including NotaryCam, Safedocs and DocVerify. However this type of notarization will only be accepted within Virginia and Texas even though anyone in any state can utilize the services.

How it works

The use of webcam notaries is pretty straightforward. A document is uploaded, you connect with the notary by video chat, verify your identity and the notary witnesses you signing your name on the screen with your mouse or finger. Then the notary adds their signature and electronic seal or stamp.

The security goes a little further than the notary just asking you to hold up your ID card though. Usually the ID is run through a third-party system and the notary will ask some questions similar to the ones you get when trying to open up a line of credit such as “Have you ever lived on Littleton Road” or “Do you have a line of credit with DGR”?

Generally both the audio and video of the transaction is saved to a third party provider in compliance with the requirements of retention rules.

Pros and cons

There are over 4 million notaries in the US and they’re all extremely divided. On one hand, this helps streamline a process many consider arduous and bring it into the digital age. On the other, some are concerned there is more opportunity for coercion as one could be pressured by someone outside of the camera range.

Webcam notarization generally involves saving the audio and video , which would help to provide accountability as to the actual events of a given notarization.

Impact on process service and the legal community

Currently in New Jersey process servers are required to notarize affidavits of service. Being able to notarize via webcam would expedite the process of getting affidavits to a law firm. With the implementation of e-filing in the NJ court, this would enable affidavits to be filed more quickly, helping to streamline case timelines.

Not every state requires notarization of affidavits for service of process, so the introduction of webcams wouldn’t stand to expedite the affidavit return process across the nation. For the states where it applies however, it could save a process server time for having to go to a physical notary depending on how efficient the webcam notarization process is.

The future of webcam notarization

Just this year alone nine states considered webcam notarization. Four states are still considering their proposals (Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania) while five states didn’t go forward with the proposals (Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri).

So far digitally notarized documents have been considered valid across state lines so as this becomes more common and widely known, it’s quite plausible more states will become open to passing bills related to webcam notarization. Until then, there’s always the in-person notary process that’s been around for centuries.

 

 

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Tennessee Judge’s Decision Highlights Importance of PROFESSIONAL Process Servers

Posted by | Process Server Standards | No Comments

professional process servers

The recent decision of a Tennessee Judge to direct all work from private process servers to the Sheriff’s Office in Knox county highlights why it’s so important for process servers to be professional at all times.

Judge Chuck Cerny halted private process servers from serving after an incident where a process server “harassed and scared someone in the middle of the night”.  The process server was unidentified and as a result the Judge has taken action against all private process servers in the county.

“I just felt like doing something kind of immediate in response to this one particular incident was justified at this time”, said Cerny.

The importance of professionalism

Cerny’s swift response shows the significant impact the actions of just one process server can have on an entire industry and the livelihood of private process servers. More than ever, it is important for process servers to behave professionally no matter what situation arises. Attempting service in the middle of the night, unless the subject has arranged for the meeting, is generally uncalled for. For example, at DGR service isn’t attempted before 6am or after 10pm for litigation matters.

Regardless of the hour service is attempted, if a subject calls the police and claims to be harassed it is very important for the process server to speak with the authorities. Often times there are two sides to a story and when a process server goes unidentified it leaves only one-side to be heard, which can leave process servers as a whole looking bad.

The future of process servers in Knox County

Private process servers will be allowed to serve again after they have undergone a court-sanctioned procedure which has not yet been specified. 70% of the documents that need to be served generally go through private process servers, so the Sheriff’s office will see a significant increase in workload. But it’s clear the Judge’s actions were motivated by the understandable desire to protect the citizens of Knox County and he’s willing to do what it takes to make it happen.

Keys to staying professional

Private process servers can stay professional, and keep our industry in a positive light, by:

  • Attempting service during reasonable hours
  • Never presenting themselves as anything other than process servers without the appropriate designation
  • Keeping calm even in the face of a hostile subject
  • If a subject calls the police, removing themselves to a safe location and awaiting their arrival to ensure both sides of the story are heard
  • Keeping up on training of local procedures, rules and laws
  • Being a part of professional associations

Private process servers play an important role in the legal system, but we all have to remember how quickly the actions of one person could change everything for an entire industry. Not only must we ourselves stay professional but we have to also encourage our fellow process servers to do the same.

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Bill Introduced to Allow Service of Process on Private Mailboxes

Posted by | Legislation/Bills | No Comments

service of process on private mailboxesA California bill, AB 1093,would allow service of process on private mailboxes to be effectuated on the first attempt if the only address reasonably known for the subject is said mailbox.

Introduced on July 14th, the bill would amend Section 415.20 of the Code of Civil Procedure and is sponsored by Assemblyman Phillip Chen.

The premise of the amendment is based on existing law, wherein if the summons and complaint can’t be personally served then service can be effectuated upon another person at their usual place of abode or business as long as a copy is mailed as well.

This bill would help expedite the legal process in the applicable instances.   Keep in mind though, to use the mailbox, it must be the only address reasonably known for the person to be served. Otherwise, it is deemed necessary to attempt using other methods.  This change wouldn’t relieve attorneys of the need to perform adequate due diligence in locating an address where personal service could be attempted.

Here is the full change to the rule:

(a) In lieu of personal delivery of a copy of the summons and complaint to the person to be served as specified in Section 416.10, 416.20, 416.30, 416.40, or 416.50, a summons may be served by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint during usual office hours in his or her office or, if no physical address is known, at his or her usual mailing address, other than a United States Postal Service post office box, with the person who is apparently in charge thereof, and by thereafter mailing a copy of the summons and complaint by first-class mail, postage prepaid to the person to be served at the place where a copy of the summons and complaint were left. When service is effected by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint at a mailing address, it shall be left with a person at least 18 years of age, who shall be informed of the contents thereof. Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete on the 10th day after the mailing.

(b) If a copy of the summons and complaint cannot with reasonable diligence be personally delivered to the person to be served, as specified in Section 416.60, 416.70, 416.80, or 416.90, a summons may be served by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint at the person’s dwelling house, usual place of abode, usual place of business, or usual mailing address other than a United States Postal Service post office box, in the presence of a competent member of the household or a person apparently in charge of his or her office, place of business, or usual mailing address other than a United States Postal Service post office box, at least 18 years of age, who shall be informed of the contents thereof, and by thereafter mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint by first-class mail, postage prepaid to the person to be served at the place where a copy of the summons and complaint were left. Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete on the 10th day after the mailing.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), if the only address reasonably known for the person to be served is a private mailbox obtained through a commercial mail receiving agency, service of process may be effected on the first delivery attempt by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint with the commercial mail receiving agency in the manner described in subdivision (d) of Section 17538.5 of the Business and Professions Code.

For the complete bill and text, go here.

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International Process Service & Enforcing A Judgment: What You Need To Know

Posted by | International | No Comments

Deciding what type of international process service method to use will be impacted by whether or not you’ll be enforcing a judgment. We have some tips on how to help you choose.

The considerable cost (anywhere from $700 to $2,000+) and time (one month to a year) associated with international service of process means it’s extremely important to choose the correct method the first time. While the United States may consider an individual served properly, the country in which the judgment will be enforced must also recognize service as valid. Otherwise you run the risk of not being able to collect on a judgment.

Choosing a Method

There are several options available for international process service including but not limited to: The Hague Service Convention Treaty, Letters Rogatory and service via agent. Each method has different timelines and costs associated with them.

In the event you would need to enforce a judgment, service via agent won’t be an option. The only choice would be to proceed through the official channels of the country. Service via agent is useful in instances where you wish to notify a party without any further judgment action abroad.

There’s considerable risk associated with choosing the wrong method of service. In a New Jersey district court case, Shenouda v. Mehanna,  a judgment for $578,600 was dismissed along with the case after it was determined the plaintiff’s method of service didn’t comply with The Hague Convention.

 In a past post, we shared a helpful info graphic for choosing which method of service would be best for your case. Take a look to see what method might be best for your case:

enforcing a judgment

Still not sure what method you should be using if you’re going to be enforcing a judgment? Contact us at any time. With thousands of serves completed in countries all around the world, we can help point you in the right direction.

 

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Why Law Firms Need a Process Server Who Specializes in Foreclosure Matters

Posted by | Foreclosure | No Comments

process server who specializes in foreclosure mattersThe service rules in foreclosure matters are considerably different than any other type of legal matter, so if you want to make sure service is properly effectuated in accordance with the rules you need a process server who specializes in foreclosure matters.

Improper service can result in contested service, a traverse hearing and even possible dismissal of your case.

Here are 4 reasons why it’s imperative to your case and maintaining your relationship with your client to hire a process server foreclosure specialist:

1. Changing Rules

Everyone involved in foreclosure matters knows the rules are constantly changing. From who can be served, how fictitious spouses should be handled, what judges are looking for in terms of adequate due diligence prior to publication – knowledge of each and every one of these areas is a necessity to ensure timelines that are satisfactory to your clients.

Not knowing about a rule change or failing to appropriately handle a service can mean a certificate of regularity failing to be issued or needing to restart the case from the service point

2. Compliance

Compliance has been the buzzword in the foreclosure industry in recent years. Not only are attorneys required to be compliant by service providers, but so are the vendors they utilize.

A process server who is experienced in the foreclosure arena will have the right infrastructure and data security in place. In the event of an audit, this means you’ll be able to continue to use your preferred vendor rather than scrambling to find someone new when they don’t meet the strict compliance requirements.

3. Scrutiny of Foreclosure Matters/Traverse Hearings

The foreclosure process is scrutinized by consumer advocacy and debtors rights protection groups because of the magnitude of its impact. The courts, who work hard to pay attention to the details in every type of case, are especially thorough in their evaluation of appropriate steps, due diligence and conduct in foreclosure matters.

If the defense challenges service and the result is a traverse hearing, a judge is going to expect the process server’s testimony to adequately back up their affidavit of service. Having a knowledgeable, trained employee of a process service company versus an independent contractor that a process service company hired can determine whether a service is sufficient or rejected.

It’s important to make it clear to the judge the server has knowledge of the service rules and followed them when effectuating service.

4. Ethics

Foreclosure is one of the most personal and unfortunate events that could happen to a person. It’s important to work with a process server foreclosure specialist who understands the delicate nature of these types of services.

There are often lots of emotions associated with a foreclosure, and being served foreclosure documents understandably makes some people upset. Having a process server who is a professional and understands the subject’s anger isn’t personal allows them to step back and defuse the situation rather than respond in a way that escalates. If the situation can’t be defused, they know to remove themselves as fast as possible .

Choose wisely

Choosing a process server who doesn’t have specific foreclosure knowledge and expertise can have results that impact case timelines significantly.

Be sure to choose a process server who specializes in foreclosure matters whose work product will support your case timelines and compliance requirements. The right process server will make sure all the proper steps were taken to complete service in a way that will stand up in court even when challenged.

 

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NY Process Servers Seek To Replace Affidavits With Certifications of Service

Posted by | Legislation/Bills | No Comments

NY process serversA proposal authored by Larry Yellon has been brought to the attention of the Albany legislators on behalf of NY process servers seeking to replace affidavits with certifications of service.

The proposal requests a change in the CPLP Rule 306d Form allowing for a single signature. This would make affidavits obsolete and replace them with returns or certificates of service. Modeled on the Federal, California and Florida returns of service this would eliminate the need for notarization and make it easier to obtain proof of service from other states.

New Jersey process servers have also sought a similar rule change, presenting the request to Judge Grant, head of the Administrative Office of the Courts.

“The association would like to kindly request in place of a notarized affidavit, a certification instead be accepted for service of process which would ultimately have the same legally binding effect holding the individual responsible to the accuracy of the document. As the courts move toward electronic filing in all divisions, this would help to expedite the filings of affidavits.”

For the full letter go here.

Such a change would benefit both New York and New Jersey process servers considerably, as well as the entire judicial system. Not only would the cost be reduced for process servers, timelines would be shortened for filings. With the rise of e-filing in New Jersey, affidavits not requiring notarization could quickly be scanned and sent to the client while still in the field, expediting the time to file with the court and streamlining the case.

The benefits to the replacement of affidavits with certifications of service would ultimately benefit the courts, litigants, law firms and process servers.

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Using an NJ Process Server: When Local Is Good

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

NJ process serverWhen using an NJ process server, making sure you’re using a process server that’s local to the area is essential.

Fast, efficient process is always the end goal of each and every service and a local process server makes sure you’re achieving just that.

Here’s how they do it:

Multiple Attempts

In a perfect world a process server would attempt the service, the individual would be home or the business open and service would be completed on the first attempt. Yet we all know that isn’t how things usually go.

With people working varying shifts, going on vacation or avoiding service, serving an individual could take multiple trips back to a location. What happens if the server lives an hour away from the address versus two towns over? Instead of an attempt almost daily, the attempts could be as a long as a week in between.

The difference in time costs law firms money and can mean filing delays (which could also make for some unhappy clients).

Knowledge of Area

Certain areas can be difficult to serve in. There are locations that are difficult to find, parts of cities which are less than safe than others or areas full of buildings or lots without numbers.

A process server who is familiar with a given area will be more likely to pick up on these pieces.

Odds are if that address is in a server’s regular area, they’ll be aware of these nuances in neighborhoods and locations.

Personal Touch

Knowing the neighborhood goes a long way. If an individual isn’t home or a business isn’t open a local process server will know who to reach out to get some more information.

Talking to the right neighbor can mean finding out the subject doesn’t come home until 8pm each night. Reaching out to other businesses in the near vicinity can reveal the company shut its doors three weeks ago.

Go Local

At DGR, all of our servers serve in the towns near where they live. With over 90 employees across the state this means each and every server knows their area inside and out.

What does that mean for you? It all comes down to faster, more efficient service. A win-win for both you and your clients.

If you’re looking for an NJ Process Server, give us a call!

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Supreme Court OKs International Service of Process By Mail Under Hague Service Convention

Posted by | International | No Comments

International service of process by mailIn Water Splash Inc. v. Menon, the Supreme Court has unanimously determined international service of process by mail is acceptable and valid under the Hague Service Convention.

In the case, Tara Menon had been working for Water Splash and while still employed used their designs for a competitor. Water Splash sued and served Menon by mail at her home in Quebec, using First Class Mail, certified mail return receipt requested, e-mail and Federal Express. When the Texas state court granted a judgment in Water Splash’s favor due to the lack of response, Menon moved to set aside the judgment citing improper service under the Hague Service Convention. When the trial court denied the motion, she appealed and the case eventually wound up before the Supreme Court.

The issue at hand? The wording in Article 10 of the Hague Service Convention.

Article 10 states that if the destination country does not object, the Convention won’t interfere with the “(a) the freedom to send judicial documents, by postal channels, directly to persons abroad.” The court was to decide if the phrasing of “send judicial documents” applied to service of process.

Determination

The Supreme Court ultimately looked at the fact that the entire document pertains to the service of process and therefore Article 10(a) must be in reference to service of documents.

As such, service by mail would be allowed if the other country hasn’t objected and if service by mail is acceptable under other applicable law.

Looking Forward

This decision has helped clarify a long-standing grey area in international service of process. While service by mail can indeed be cheaper than service through the Central Authority of a country, there are limiting factors to the use of service by mail.

There are a significant number of countries who are signatories to the Hague Service Convention yet object to international service of process by mail. Additionally, if a plaintiff brings a lawsuit in a state court and the state court rules specifically object to service by mail then they would be unable to serve by mail under the Convention rules.

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