Should process servers record while serving? That question has been one of big debate in the past in the process service industry.
Two cases in the last two years show why some consider recording to be so important.
The most recent case is downright scary. Douglas Dendinger, who was only acting as a process server for this one job and $50 agreed to serve a police officer. Dendinger completed the service with a group of police officers and attorneys nearby. Twenty minutes after he completed the serve, the police showed up at his door and arrested him for simply battery and two felonies: obstruction of justice and intimidating a witness.
The two felonies carry a maximum of 20 years in prison each. Dendinger originally thought the charges would be dropped since so many people saw that nothing had happened. Yet two of the prosecutors who had been there gave statements stating Dendinger had assaulted the police office he was serving.
The only thing that saved Dedinger from some serious jail time was a video the accusers didn’t know he had – the recording his wife and nephew had made of the entire scene, showing none of the claims actually occurred.
Without that recording Dendinger would have been in jail for a long time, potentially decades.
In another case from two years ago, a process server, Steve Hartman, was serving a judge in a court house. A sergeant, deputy, attorney and Judge Layne Walker all signed affidavits stating Hartman tried to push past the deputy to serve the judge. Hartman was arrested for disorderly conduct. Yet Hartman claimed that’s not what happened.
Again, a video recording showed the process server was telling the truth.
Both cases involved government officials and members of the legal community multiple people collaborating to fabricate a story against the process servers. Thankfully both had the foresight to record these services. Yet even with the recording they both spent a considerable amount of money defending themselves in these cases.
While there are pros and cons to recording while serving, these two cases show how recording can help avoid a world of trouble.
Take a look at the full article about Dendinger: