Recently the National Association of Professional Process Servers (NAPPS) notified state associations about a proposal put out by the OASIS LegalXML Electronic Filing Technical Committee that has the potential to impact the process service industry.
This proposal suggests the use of e-service and standards associated with it.
Both NAPPS and the New Jersey Association of Professional Process Servers (NJPPSA), along with other state associations, have submitted comments to the committee.
Within these comments both NAPPS and NJPPSA have accepted the use of e-service as a means of secondary service (not to replace initial service attempts). As technology advances there is no doubt e-service will become a more common occurrence and the proposal by OASIS simply serves as a way to preemptively coordinate the best way to effectively handle e-service.
Rather than attempt to completely fight against e-service and the future, the state associations and NAPPS have presented the case for a need for a ‘Trusted Third Party’ to be involved. There are several reasons for this need, the primary one being the same reason a process server is needed within regular service – to ensure an unbiased individual is overseeing the process of ethically and legally obtaining jurisdiction in a legal matter. Without such an individual, there becomes a risk of claims of completed service and conveniently deleted supporting electronic documentation, as well as the possibility of fraudulent email trails and service.
It is important to be on the forefront of this discussion and for process servers to ensure they are actively involved in the development surrounding standards and laws of e-service. State associations as well as individual process servers should be taking note of any potential e-service committees, bill introductions or discussions happening within their state and inserting themselves into the discussion.
I have no doubt this topic will become a more prominent one within the process service industry. It is up to all of us to make sure process servers have a place in this new form of service.
For a copy of the OASIS proposal go here.
For a copy of NAPPS’ response go here.
For a copy of NJPPSA’s response go here.