Irate Defendants and a Rottweiler: When Services Get Dangerous

By January 2, 2013 July 14th, 2014 3 Comments

While as a process server one may expect to encounter potentially dangerous situations, the cases of assaults are something all servers hope to avoid. We recently had a situation where one of DGR’s servers was unfortunately put in a situation that resulted in a police report and is a reminder to exercise caution and diligence at all times.

Our server was sent to serve an individual, who we shall call Mr. John Smith, personally as well as for three business entities he was connected with. With the four services in hand totaling about 100 pages, the server parked at the end of the driveway as there was no parking on the street and proceeded to walk up the driveway. After confirming with an individual who the subject was, she approached John Smith.  After he responded to the server saying “John?” with a “yes” the server then explained they had paper work for him and handed it over.

After looking at the paper work, Mr. Smith forcefully told the server to take the paper work back. Explaining they could not do that, the server then told Mr. Smith there were three other sets of documents. Mr. Smith refused to take them so the papers were placed on a stack of papers.  Things then escalated as the defendant became irate, aggressively telling the server to take the paper work back.

Wanting to get out of the situation the server exited the building and began walking quickly toward their car. As the server left, they overheard Mr. Smith telling an employee to “make her take the paper work back”.  The employee followed the server, catching up with them even though they were walking quickly. Managing to get into the car and close the door, the server told the employee they couldn’t take the paper work back through a closed window.

The employee then proceeded to draw his arm back and throw the rolled up stack of documents at the car window, with such force that the server was “sure the window was going to break”.  Thankfully it didn’t.  As the server began to pull away the employee picked up the paperwork which was all over the ground and followed the car, throwing paperwork at it as he did.

So shaken up, the server  then pulled out of the driveway with only a small check as they were fearful to stop the car as the man was following it.  The police were called and a report was filed.  The police and detectives were extremely responsive and helpful. While the server declined to press charges, the detectives did speak with the defendant as to his behavior.

As if this wasn’t enough, within five days the same server encountered another situation where a lesson was learned.  While pulling up to serve an individual at a personal residence, the server noted a “Beware of Rottweiler” sign.  After calling the office to confirm the address before approaching the property, the server then proceeded to the front door.

Noting the door was not just cracked but was nearly three quarters of the way open the server yelled hello.  With no response the server then knocked on the glass door. The server then heard a VERY loud bark come from upstairs. Without hesitation the server started running toward the car, hearing the barking get closer and closer as they ran.


Process Server Attacks

While running the server realized their car keys were in their bag. Pulling items out of the bag and throwing them in attempt to locate their keys, the server tossed pens and papers as they tried to reach the car. Finally they managed to get to their keys and got into their car just as the Rottweiler, who did not look happy to have someone on their property, closed in.

The dog remained barking outside the car while the server honked for about ten minutes, waiting for someone to come out of the house. When no one did the server pulled away but had learned a lesson in the process: always keep your keys where they are easily accessible.

We always hope our servers never encounter these types of situations and are thankful that the server was able to avoid the worst case scenario in these situations. Be careful out there!

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • jawassoc@aol.com says:

    This article has some good advice.

  • John mcdonald says:

    Pepper spray would have been helpful. It is legal in calif. Even on private property, dogs must be contained.

  • Amanda Sexton says:

    You’re completely right John! We had a couple of our servers tell us the same thing after I posted this article. I agree that dogs should be contained even on private property. Unfortunately many of our servers have run into situations where this hasn’t been the case.

    – Amanda

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