What to Look for in a National Process Server

When you need a legal document served, you want it done quickly and correctly. And the most assured way to ensure the job is done right the first time? Hire the right process server. 

Once you’ve found a reliable process server for your legal matters, there’s no need to look for someone new anytime you need documents served out of state. That’s because, with DGR Legal, our process servers don’t just serve New Jersey—they serve documents nationwide.

Here’s what to keep in mind when choosing a national process server for your legal matters. 

What does a process server do? 

A process server is someone hired to hand-deliver legal documents to defendants named in court proceedings. While this may sound like a simple task, it’s not a job that should be taken lightly. 

A process server must be an unbiased third party, and must also provide proper documentation and recordkeeping in the event that their service is disputed in court. 

Depending on the state, a process server may also be required to have certain certifications, registrations, or licensure. While rules can vary by state, there are some things that remain consistent. 

A process server can: 

  • Show up at the defendant’s home unannounced to serve documents 
  • Perform stakeouts in the event that an individual is evading service
  • Get creative when trying to locate a defendant, such as waiting outside a home or workplace or wearing a disguise

A process server cannot: 

  • Trespass or break into a home or business
  • Pretend to be law enforcement
  • Break into a business or home (or otherwise break the law)

Can process servers work across state lines?

If you need to serve papers to someone in a different state, whether or not you can use your local process server depends on a number of factors. Your process server will need to be staffed to handle service in another state, as well as be familiar with the rules and requirements of service in that state. In the event the rules aren’t properly followed, your service could be deemed invalid. 

Another way process servers can help in another state is by serving through the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA). Making out-of-state process service less complicated than it used to be, the UIDDA allows you to serve in another state without having to hire out-of-state legal counsel. 

You can hire an experienced process server to handle all of the moving pieces, including the domestication of your legal documents. That said, keep in mind that not all states have adopted the UIDDA, so your process server will need to follow the state’s specific procedures. 

{{CTA: Click here to find out which states are currently part of the UIDDA.}} 

Five things to look for in a national process server

1. Experience

Service of process is a time-sensitive task, and a lot can ride on the job being done correctly. For the best results, look for process servers with years of experience and training under their belt—especially in states that don’t have certification requirements for service of process. 

You’ll want to work with someone who knows what to check for before heading out for the job, ensuring that they have all the necessary documents before serving. They should also know to take substantial notes for their records and to provide proper documentation that would provide clear proof of service in the event of a Traverse Hearing. 

2. Diligence

In some cases, there may be a defendant who is trying to evade service. In these scenarios, you need a process server who is up for the challenge and is willing to do what they can to locate the individual and get the job done correctly—even if challenges arise. 

For example, they may need to use a database such as a DMV search or social media search to find the defendant. Of course, you’ll want to be sure that your process server uses methods that are both ethical and legal. 

3. Good customer service

Before you hire a process server to assist with your legal matters, ask the right questions to ensure they’re the right fit. And if they’re impatient or unwilling to answer your questions, it could be a sign that they’re not someone you want to trust with your sensitive legal matters. 

You’ll also want a process server that is transparent about costs and keeps you in the loop. They should be willing to provide timely updates on the status of the job—including any obstacles they may have run into that could potentially delay service. 

4. Ability to handle sensitive situations

Your process server should be fully capable of handling sensitive situations with care. Some legal cases can be particularly delicate, especially in cases involving divorce or other family matters

For example, some clients may request that documents are served at a time when children aren’t home. Or, they may need to put a safety plan into place before notifying the defendant of court proceedings—in other words, serving papers too early could put someone’s safety at risk. 

Look for a process server that knows to respect the client’s wishes, whether it means holding off on serving papers until otherwise notified or completing a rush job as needed. 

5. Familiarity with the rules of each state

Working with a national process server can be different from working with a state-specific server. State rules may vary, and as a result, so will the steps that are taken to complete the service of process. 

Look for someone who is knowledgeable about the varying state rules, including policies regarding out-of-state process service.  

Work with reliable national and international process servers

At DGR Legal, we have process servers in every state and country. 

With our nationwide process service, you get: 

  • Service anywhere in the United States
  • An online portal for status updates
  • Experienced, friendly process servers
  • And more! 

With our international process service, you get:

  • An experienced team to guide you on the best method for your matter
  • Complete management of the process, with the assurance that forms are all completed accurately and completely
  • Recommendations for translations requirements

Whether you need documents served in New Jersey or another state, our team can help. Contact us to get started. 

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