While our last post focused on the issue of e-filing affecting messenger service, there is also the potential for process servers to be impacted by e-filing. Within the state of New Jersey, process servers are looking to gain access to the e-filing system, participate in the electronic filing of proofs and to be able to submit e-signatures along with the proofs.
The New Jersey Professional Process Servers Association (NJPPSA) submitted comments on April 30th, 2013 meeting the deadline of May 1st for comments on proposed amendments to R. 1:32-2A. By having the ability to electronically sign and file proofs of service, process servers will be able to reduce this cost while offering an additional valuable service to their clients.
The comments submitted by NJPSPA would save considerable time and expenses for process servers and their clients. The ultimate goal in obtaining the ability to e-file proofs of service would be to eliminate affidavits which require notarization and instead move to certifications, which do not require a notary. Both affidavits and certifications require the server to attest to the fact that all statements included are correct under the penalty of perjury.
Eliminating the need for notarization would mean proofs of service could be scanned in by a server then e-filed with the court utilizing their assigned electronic signature. Particularly for process serving companies with a large volume and servers who work outside of the office, this move would help reduce the amount of time needed to complete services and reduce costs. Rather than having to wait for the affidavit to be notarized and wait for it to be mailed back to the office, the server could in theory file the certification immediately after service was effectuated.
Have you had any experience with e-filing in your state? How has it impacted your business or procedures?