VA SB 823 Would Grant Process Servers Access to Gated Communities

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access to gated communitiesVirginia SB 823 would give process servers access to gated communities and multi-family residential dwellings for the purpose of service of process.

“An employee or agent of an owner of multifamily residential real estate or a common interest
48 community, as defined in § 55-528, exercising physical control over common entry points to restrict
49 access to the multifamily residential real estate or the common interest community shall grant entry to a
50 person attempting to execute service on a party who resides in, occupies, or is known to be present in
51 the multifamily residential real estate or the common interest community, provided that the person
52 attempting to execute service (i) is authorized to serve process as set forth in § 8.01-293 and (ii)
53 presents to the owner, or its employee or agent, a valid identification and evidence of the process to be
54 served.”

This bill could be a huge benefit to Virginia process servers, who have all no doubt encountered situations where effectuating service was either difficult or impossible due to the subject residing in a gated community.

The bill also benefits the legal community as a whole. No longer will cases be delayed due to individuals being unable to be served due to their residence being a part of a multi-family or restricted access community. Instead, the judicial process will be expedited.

Additionally, the legislation serves to protect the integrity of due process rights and the rights of every citizen to be adequately notified of legal matters concerning them.

If passed, Virginia would join Illinois, Washington, Florida and California as states where specific rules allow process servers entry to gated communities. Unlike these other states however, Virginia does not have registered or licensed process servers. In order to gain entry the legislation requires process servers to be allowed to serve under Virginia rules as well as provide “a valid identification and evidence of the process to be served”.

SB 823 was introduced by Senator Jennifer T.  Wexton on November 9th, 2016.

For the full text of the bill go here.

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Service of Process Via Facebook Denied

Posted by | Electronic Service of Process | No Comments

Service of Process Via FacebookYet again the courts have made it clear in order for service of process via Facebook to be approved, proof of authentication and active use of the profile are needed.

In a recent denial of request to serve by Facebook in a divorce matter, a Brooklyn judge ruled the plaintiff hadn’t provided enough evidence the Facebook profile in question belonged to the defendant and that he communicated regularly using the account.

The plaintiff in this case sought to pursue service of process via Facebook as she had tried to serve the defendant personally and efforts to locate a new address for him turned up nothing. She believed he had been deported and is residing in Saudi Arabia, a country that is not a signatory of the Hague Convention and where service, according to the plaintiff, could not be guaranteed and would be costly.

The judge in this case acknowledged service by Facebook as a viable option for alternate service but did not feel confident in the account’s authentication. Despite the plaintiff’s assertions that she communicated with the defendant on Facebook, there were no annexed copies of the correspondence submitted with the request.

“Granting this application for service by Facebook under the facts presented by plaintiff would be akin to the Court permitting service by nail and mail to a building that no longer exists” wrote Judge Jeffrey S. Sunshine.

It’s important to note that the opinion cites the plaintiff’s comments that she has “made every effort to locate” the defendant to serve him personally. In this case Facebook is again being used as an alternate rather than initial method of service, once proof of due diligence has been provided. Simply attempting service at one address is not adequate due diligence either. The counsel in his affirmation also states they have attempted to locate a new address through the New York Department of Motor Vehicles and military service lists. They have also looked to check to see if there was any public record change to any of his government issued ID, which there hadn’t been.

This ruling provides reassurance that service of process, regardless of the method, will continue to abide by due process rights and actually providing notice to the defendant. In this particular case there wasn’t enough proof for the court to grant approval for service by Facebook, setting a standard for all future requests.

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DGR Voted “Best Of” In Messenger Service by Legal Community For Fifth Year

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best messenger serviceFor the fifth 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.

“Many of our messengers have been with us for years, some more than 20. Their experience when it comes to the court systems and best routes shows”, says Jerry Colasurdo, President and owner of DGR. “We have our clients to thank for recognizing that and taking the time to vote for us.”

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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The “Best Of” For the FIFTH Year in a Row!

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The New Jersey Law Journal survey results are in and we owe a big THANK YOU to everyone who voted and helped us make the cut for “Best Of” for the FIFTH year in a row!

We were awarded the “Best Of” in Process Service, Investigations and Messenger Service. The New Jersey Law Journal “Best Of”, first launched in 2012, is an annual survey of the legal industry to determine the community’s picks for the best in every legal service provider category. For a vote to count, the submission must come from a valid law firm email address. This means office administrators, attorneys and paralegals are all eligible to participate. We’ve been voted the best of since the survey first launched!

We’ve worked hard over the years to make sure our clients are always satisfied and we’re so grateful to our loyal clients for their votes.

For all of us at DGR, it’s nice to know we are keeping our clients happy and they think highly enough of us to vote us in for each of these categories. Customer satisfaction is the foundation of DGR and will continue to be as we look forward to 2017 and beyond.

There are countless changes coming for process servers as technology continues to impact the daily routines and requirements, but our commitment to our clients is one thing that won’t change. We know we wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for them and truth be told, we really like working with them! We’re fortunate to have a group of clients we look forward to calling, emailing and talking to each and every day.

So here’s to all of you who voted for DGR – The Source for Legal Support in the New Jersey Law Journal’s annual “Best Of” survey – THANK YOU!

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Happy Paralegal Day 2016 to all New Jersey Paralegals!

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Everyone here at DGR is wishing all New Jersey paralegals a happy Paralegal Day! Proclaimed by Governor Chris Christie himself, this day is one to recognize the important role paralegals play in the legal system.

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey recognizes the many contributions of paralegals to the legal profession in the Garden State; and

WHEREAS, it is known that paralegals possess important legal skills and perform substantive legal tasks; and

WHEREAS, paralegals provide critical legal services to large and small companies, individuals and public entities throughout New Jersey;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRIS CHRISTIE, Governor of the State of New Jersey, do hereby proclaim:

OCTOBER 21, 2016
AS
PARALEGAL DAY

in New Jersey and recognize paralegals as important partners in the delivery of legal services.

Paralegal Day 2016

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Happy National Due Process Day!

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September 25th is National Due Process Day. As process servers, this day is especially important to us – it’s at the very essence of our jobs.

Serving an individual provides them with notification about a matter involving them. Proper service provides an opportunity to address the matter, an integral part of their due process rights.

An individual’s due process rights are part of why we work hard to be professionals in the industry. Serving is more than just handing someone a paper. It’s due diligence, knowing the rules associated with every type of service not just in New Jersey but around the country and globe, and making sure day in and day out we’re treating everyone with respect.

Without proper service, individuals can have judgments entered against them, be foreclosed upon and have divorce proceedings entered all without notification. Our job is to make sure people have a chance to challenge and prepare for any action entered involving them.

So why September 25th?

The 5th amendment was introduced on September 25th. Along with the 14th amendment, the 5th helps to protect due process rights of all Americans and preserve the right to a fair trial.

Since the introduction of National Due Process Day in 2012 we’ve worked to spread the word and show everyone, not just those in the legal industry, the importance of due process rights and the role of process servers.

Want to show your support? Share this article and let everyone know about National Due Process Day!

National Due Process Day

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Rule Change Affects New Jersey Process Service and Subpoenas

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new jersey rule change process serviceIn the annual end-of-summer announcement of amendments to the New Jersey Court Rules, a change to R 1:9-3 will affect New Jersey process service.

The rule change allows subpoenas seeking the production of documents to be served through mail rather than the previously required personal service.

The new rule looks as follows with the underline portion being the addition:

1:9-3. Service

A subpoena may be served by any person 18 or more years of age. Service of a subpoena shall be made by delivering a copy thereof to the person named together with tender of the fee allowed by law, except that if the person is a witness in a criminal action for the State or an indigent defendant, the fee shall be paid before leaving the court at the conclusion of the trial by the sheriff or, in the municipal court, by the clerk thereof.  A subpoena which seeks only the production of documents or records may be served by registered, certified or ordinary mail and if served in that manner, shall be enforceable only upon receipt of a signed acknowledgment and waiver of personal service.

While attorneys have been sending these types of subpoenas through the mail for years, the rule changes provide the ability for attorneys to make the subpoena enforceable. Previously the subpoena was mailed in the hope the individual or company would simply comply with the request. If they didn’t respond, the attorney could then send out a process server.

It doesn’t mean attorneys can expect to enforce a subpoena for documents simply by mailing it however. The rule change only allows the subpoena to be enforceable is there is a receipt of a signed acknowledgement and a waiver of person service. To sign the documents and waive personal service is all up to the recipient. A subject who is evading or who just isn’t cooperative means that the subpoena will have the same enforceability it did prior to the rule change – none.

What does this mean for New Jersey process servers?

In order to continue to be the go-to option for attorneys, we must continue to be efficient. Serving a subpoena personally automatically makes it enforceable and gives the subject little room to attempt to claim improper service. Mailing however, opens up a set of issues over the validity of the service and ultimately the overall need to comply with the request for production.

When there is a matter where the production of documents is key to a case or is needed on a time-sensitive basis, a process server should always be the immediate choice. You wouldn’t find out if an individual was going to comply or not with a mailed subpoena until a week or two after receipt of it. In some cases lost time can greatly impact the final ruling.

Because the additional wording was included requiring the signed acknowledgment and waiver, New Jersey process servers won’t be severely impacted by the change. It is important however to maintain the importance of a trusted third party to ensure the receipt of such documents in order to protect due process rights, particularly when the subject hasn’t acknowledged acceptance of service by mail as the initial method of service.

 

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Vote DGR For “Best Of” 2016!

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vote for DGRFor the past four years you’ve helped make us the “Best Of” in Process Service, Messenger Service and Private Investigations. Take two minutes, and vote for DGR to help make us the “Best Of” for the fifth year in a row!


We need your vote!

No need to complete the whole survey – only fill in the parts you want to. We’re listed in the New Jersey Law Journal Best Of survey under:

  • #6 under Litigation Support (Section 3) : Best Process Server
  • #5 under  Litigation Support (Section 3): Best Private Investigations  Firm as On The Lookout  Investigations
  • #3 under Office Services & Equipment (Section 4): Best Courier

VOTE FOR US HERE

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Assault Against Process Servers Becomes Felony Charge in New York

Posted by | Assault, Legislation/Bills | No Comments

New York process servers will now have additional protection against assaults with the passage of SB2991, which makes assault against a process server a Class D felony.

It took the bill four legislative sessions to finally be passed, but it was worth the wait. In an age where process servers are facing increasing tension and violence, this new law will help to create further penalties for anyone who attacks a process serve. Not only does the new law offer some form of deterrent, but it also provides a means with which to hold assailants accountable for their actions against a process server who is supporting the legal system.

Quote from an article from the Times Union shows clear support of both the Assembly and Senate for the newly passed bill:

“Process servers play an important role in our justice system. It is reprehensible that someone would intentionally injure a process server simply for conducting the business of the courts and citizens of New York State. This new protection will elevate repercussions for those who harm process servers, keeping more New Yorkers safe.”   -Senator Catharine Young

“Process servers are considered the legal system’s delivery agents and should be given the same laws of protection as we do law enforcement agents. This legislation will give process servers the protection they need and deserve and I thank Governor Cuomo for signing it into law.”   -Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow

New York joins California, Florida and Illinois, all who have laws in place making assault against a process server a felony.

A big congratulations is in order for New York process servers and the New York State Professional Process Servers Association (NYSPPSA) who have put in countless hours, funds and determination to help see this bill from development to passage.

 

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