Process service is an essential part of the legal system. The role of a process server is also crucial, since it’s their responsibility to help protect every citizen’s right to due process in the eyes of the law. Essentially, due process protects the rights of every citizen involved in a legal matter by informing them of their involvement in a case before a judgement or court order can be issued.
So what should this critical service cost? And how can you make that determination when hiring? It all depends on context. And—as is the case with most things—in process service, you get what you pay for.
While low-cost process servers may promise a quick and cheap process, you may end up paying for illegitimate service, racking up significant costs when service fails, or experiencing the hassle and expense of delayed legal proceedings.
In most states, any adult person not directly involved in the case can legally effectuate service, as can members of law enforcement. Hiring a professional server can make all the difference, however, particularly in cases where the individual is difficult to locate, or in cases where timely process service is crucial.
Location, location, location
It’s not just a rule of real estate—location can influence the cost of hiring a process server. If your New Jersey server can complete service simply by driving across town or to a nearby city, it will naturally cost a lot less than traveling to a different state.
Not only does it cost more to travel farther, but different states may maintain different laws, filing costs, and fees, all of which could change the cost of service.
The “market value” for services provided can also differ by location. Operating costs in an expensive city will likely be different than those in an area with a lower cost of living. Fortunately, experienced process servers will be able to explain the costs and fees associated with completing your service.
Time is of the essence
Completing service in a timely manner is crucial to the success of your case. It also avoids drawing out the legal proceedings longer than necessary—and faster service keeps service costs down.
In circumstances where a process server can easily identify, locate, and serve papers, you can expect your process server to complete an assignment in 2-3 days and at an affordable price.
However, if someone is difficult to locate or is deliberately evasive, the cost of completing service may change based on the extra steps required.
For example, if the process server ends up conducting a stakeout in order to effectuate service
as a person leaves or returns home or spends a significant amount of time tracking down a new address or known whereabouts, both the timeline for completing service and the cost will be higher.
You can help minimize the cost of hiring a process server by providing them with all the information necessary to complete service. That includes the most recent addresses associated with an individual, including work, home, or other places frequently visited by the individual.
It also means giving them advanced notice regarding the likelihood of the person trying to avoid service. Letting the process server know that service via an employer or other adult living at the residence may be necessary will prevent multiple failed (and costly) attempts.
Finding the right process server
When it comes to hiring a process server, it’s important to remember that you get the services you pay for. While many low-cost process servers may promise a quick and cheap process, you may end up paying for illegitimate service that is not completed in accordance with the law or targets the wrong individual.
In this case, the service will likely be contested in court, which will only increase the cost and length of the proceedings. In the worst-case scenario, you may pay for a server only to be told that the recipient cannot be located at all.
Hiring an efficient and reliable process server is the best way to guarantee completed service. And when you hire a server at DGR Legal, you can rest assured that our friendly and responsive staff will provide you with updates every step of the way, and that we will work hard to complete your service for a fair price and as quickly as possible.
Contact us today for the best customer service and process service in New Jersey.