Virginia 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
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.