Recently the New Jersey Association of Professional Process Servers (NJPPSA) submitted a proposal to the New Jersey courts regarding the registering of process servers. Under this proposal it was recommended that a new category of “registered process server” be added to the current rules surrounding process service. The proposal states “these recommendations are not intended to affect, nor diminish, those presently authorized to serve process pursuant to R. 4:4-3(a)”.
The recent rule change in September 2000 allowed for private individuals to serve initial process in the same way and manner as the sheriff and since then the use of private process servers has increased dramatically. There is currently no way for legal professionals to be aware of the varied levels of experience, competence and integrity of the many individuals who joined the process serving industry once the rule was changed. By having a list of registered process servers, it would serve to be in the best interests of the courts and legal professionals so they can better identify and select a qualifying process server.
Part of the requirements for becoming registered would include:
- NJPPSA member in good standing
- Attend the NJPPSA Certification Course
- Certification under penalty of perjury that an applicant has not been committed of a crime
- Proof of at least one year prior experience in serving subpoenas and civil process in the United States
- Pass a written examination designed to demonstrate a working knowledge of the rules, statutes, practices and procedures for service of process within the State of New Jersey
Once registered, New Jersey process servers would receive uniform identification cards and have their names appear on a court published registry.
Verbal confirmation has been received that this proposal has been denied but we have yet to receive anything in writing from the courts. Had the proposal been approved it would have been a great way to distinguish those process severs who “are of a good moral character, free of criminal records, adhere to high professional and ethical standards, are educated, and able to demonstrate a knowledge and proficiency in the service of process”.
NJPPSA will be challenging the denail in the upcoming months and we will keep you updated on the outcome.