Attempts to Increase Server Assault Charges Stall

Posted by | September 04, 2013 | Legislation/Bills | 4 Comments

While Illinois, Florida and California are the only states where assault on a process server is a felony, Arizona, New York and New Jersey are all other states who have tried to up the charges for assault on a process server. Both New York and New Jersey sought to increase assault on a process server to a felony while Arizona attempted to have it deemed aggravated assault.  

All three states were unsuccessful in their attempts, which shows process servers still have a way to go in gaining the protection of the law offered to many others in public service industries, such as bus drivers and UPS delivery people.  Initially when Illinois and California achieved success in their legislation the process service industry was hopeful there would be a ripple effect, with momentum pushing forward other states’ similar bills into rules.                                          

Here are the pieces of legislation which thus far have not passed:

New York

New Jersey

Arizona

  • SB 1053

In New York the assault bill is still in committee. The New Jersey bills were introduced in February 2012 and then referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee where they’ve seen no action. In Arizona the bill moved quickly through the first and second readings, but then was referred to the Senate RULES committee where it’s remained since January 17th.

We’ll keep you posted as to what happens next. Hopefully there will soon be three states where assault on a process server is a felony.

 

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4 Comments

  • Dana McMichael says:

    Assault is already a crime in very State. Raising the crime to a felony is simply unnecessary, and overkill. This push to increasing the severity of assault on a process server is nothing more than an ill-advised effort to increase the professional standing of our occupation. We are delivery persons. We are not special. We are not government agents. We are fellow citizens doing a job. By the way, you forgot to include Texas in your list of failed legislation. Bills have been filed for the past two legislative sessions, but they were so without any support, they never even got a public hearing in committee.

  • Randy Scott says:

    Yes Indeed according to the state legislators the fact there are already laws is why Arizona defeated the proposal.

  • Amanda Sexton says:

    While I would not qualify process servers as “simply delivery people”, UPS drivers may well fall into that category and are given the protection of a felony in the case of assault. Given that process servers certainly deserve the same. Although not government agents we are conducting business of the court and are protecting the due process rights of every individual whom we serve. Our role requires professionalism and knowledge of the laws along with integrity to ensure each person is properly served.

    You are right that Texas should be included in that list, and it is a good example of why it is important to garner support for the bill prior to submitting it.

  • Dana McMichael says:

    It amazes me that this is even an issue. The only possible reason to attempt to raise the penalty for assault on a process server is to make you feel better about yourself as a process server. The current laws against assault are more than enough. The penalty is never going to deter someone who has no control over their emotional outbursts. Those who can are not going to assault a process server anyway. This is so a non-issue and needs to be dropped ASAP by the industry. The only result is more needless government regulation of our occupation.

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