Welcome to the Lafayette Process Servers LLC Podcast. I’m your host Scott Frank, and today we are going to talk about a day in the life of a process server. We’ll walk through what a process server does, what a typical day might look like, how they stay safe while serving papers, and the skills needed to be a process server.
As a professional process server myself, I’ve seen it all. And I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences with you.
What Does a Process Server Do?
Process servers serve legal documents on people who are involved with litigation or other court proceedings. After receiving the legal paperwork, the person served must appear at the courthouse where they were notified about the lawsuit or hearing. If that person does not show up for their scheduled appearance, then the process server will serve them with the paperwork needed to answer the complaint, and this complaint may come in the form of a summons, subpoena, or writ, just to name a few.
Process servers have many different duties depending upon what type of case they are working on. For example, when serving an eviction notice, they will need to go into the home of the defendant and hand over the documents. When serving a subpoena, the process server needs to deliver those same documents to the individual’s attorney. In some cases, they might even need to take down and record information from the individuals so that the person can later testify during trial.
Ultimately, the job requires lots of patience and diligence. It can take time to find their person that needs to be served and the person serving them must know the local statutes and rules on process serving for the service to be valid.
What Does a Typical Day Look Like for a Process Server?
The one thing to keep in mind about being a process server is that there is no ‘typical day’! The job is very dynamic, and every day may require a different focus. They may need to perform research, search for a particular person, or file paperwork at the courthouse.
For a process server, most of their workday is on the road, and they spend a lot of time traveling, most of which is local. The amount of time that they spend traveling depends on how quickly they can locate the person that they are serving.
They may start out early in the morning before most people get off work and end late at night after everyone else goes to bed. Some days can last longer than others because it’s dependent upon the schedules of the courts, law offices, businesses, and people that are involved in the specific legal proceedings.
When serving legal papers for an attorney or law office, a process server will likely not have any direct contact with their clients; they are often only provided information about where the person lives and what type of document needs to be delivered. A process server will usually get this information from the lawyer handling the case but, in instances where additional research is needed, they will need to do courthouse research or skip tracing.
Because they need to locate people that may be hard to find, process servers are excellent skip tracers. This means finding the address through public records such as property tax rolls, utility bills, searching online databases, calling phone numbers listed on business cards, visiting businesses, contacting neighbors, checking social media sites, and more.
When they have all the necessary details, they then drive around looking for the person to serve and may need to make several stops before finding the person that they are seeking. They may visit public places such as libraries, coffee shops, restaurants, or the person’s home address. At times, they will need to spend time waiting around the person’s place of employment or outside courthouses while trying to locate and serve them. If they were unable to locate where the person works or lives, they will need to continue to drive until they find information to help them locate someone.
Once they finally arrive at the location, they will park their car and walk inside to see if the receptionist or front office is open or, in the case of a private residence, if anyone answers the door. If no one comes to the door, they will need to return and try again another day or continue looking. They will pay close attention to signs that indicate who owns the house, such as mailbox numbers or license plates.
When the process server arrives at the correct location and verifies that they are speaking with the correct person that is named in the subpoena or legal document, they will begin handing over the legal papers. In this exchange process, it is important that the person receiving the paperwork understands its contents. This is to prevent any confusion later down the road when the time comes for the person to respond to the documents, appear in court, or testify at trial, which depend on the specifics included in the document.
After delivering the papers and having completed their tasks, a process server will return to their vehicle and head towards the location and person that they need to serve or may return to the courthouse, law firm, or company office to handle the next list of items. During this process, they will also login to their computer or smartphone and report back to the client on the details of the service. The best process serving companies will leverage technology tools and applications to keep their clients up-to-date and provide them with real-time results once their papers have been served. If the process server wears a body cam, they will upload the footage for their clients to see the successful delivery and preserve it for evidence in their legal matter.
In addition to knowing how to serve documents, it’s equally important for process servers to understand how to properly collect payment for their services. There are several ways that they accomplish this task, but a professional and reputable process server company will use automated payment systems to bill and invoice their clients. Most accept online payments, but this depends on both the company that you are working with and local laws that govern the payment process.
Some Unique Factors to Consider About Process Servers
As within any industry, the day-to-day workday may be different for every employee. For example, because this job requires so much travel, some process servers may decide to limit the area where they are willing to deliver paperwork within their city limits. Others may decide to only visit specific locations such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, or businesses because these places tend to stay open 24-hours and makes it easier to find someone.
Another point to note is that sometimes there may be two process servers working together as a team, but in most instances, they will work alone. They also need to keep track of all the dates and times that he or she serves each document. It is important to note that if you do not follow these rules, your service could become invalid. Ultimately, a process server can never be too prepared because there are so many variables involved when it comes to serving legal documents.
How Process Servers Stay Safe
When a private process server is entering a workplace or person’s home, they never know what may be behind the other side of the door. Because the nature of their work is to deliver documents relating to a legal proceeding, it may involve conflict between two parties and can be a stressful time for the person that they are trying to serve.
At times, private process servers can take abuse and receive threats from the person that they are serving. For those reasons, they need to be sure to protect themselves and take certain steps before serving legal documents, such as:
- Always carry identification on them. Ensure that it contains both their name and contact information.
- Before attempting to serve any papers, they should check out the building first. Look for signs indicating whether the place is open to visitors. Also, look for security cameras on the outside of the building.
- Be aware of their surroundings.
- Wear a protective vest and bodycam if possible.
- Keep records of everything that happens throughout the course of service. Write down every detail, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and license plate numbers.
Becoming a Process Server and Trends in the Job Market
There are currently more than 1 million registered process servers across the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth for this position through 2020. According to BLS data, employment opportunities within the industry are expected to grow by 17% from 2010 to 2020.
It’s important to know that becoming a process server isn’t always easy. It requires dedication, hard work, patience, perseverance, and lots of practice. However, if you put forth the effort needed to succeed, and place priority on serving your clients and serving them well, then it’s possible to create a very rewarding career in this industry.
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Process Server?
Process serving is one of the most important and challenging jobs in our society. It requires an individual who has strong communication skills, good judgment, patience, attention to detail, ability to work under pressure, and excellent organizational abilities. They must be able to follow through on all aspects of his or her job from start to finish without missing any important facts. A successful process server will have these qualities:
- Strong interpersonal skills.
- Ability to communicate effectively with people at all levels.
- Strong organizational and record-keeping skills.
- Excellent time management skills.
- Must be detail oriented.
- Work well under pressure.
- Able to multi-task.
- Knowledgeable about court procedures and laws.
- Understand how to handle sensitive information and keep confidentiality.
- Be able to adapt quickly to changing situations.
Process servers typically love being outdoors, dealing with people, and helping others, but it is important to keep in mind that it is physically demanding work.
Hiring a Professional Process Server
It takes a lot of work to serve legal documents, but it’s important to find a process server that enjoys what they do and wants to help their clients. If you are ever in need of registered and dedicated process servers that deliver a high level of service, then Baton Rouge is your answer! Contact us at 1-866-237-2853 or send us an email inquiry at [email protected] At Baton Rouge Process Servers , our list of services include:
- Serving Legal Documents
- Court Filings
- Same-Day Legal Courier Service
- Document Retrieval
- Witness Locating and Skip Tracing
- Criminal and Civil Background Checks
- Legal and Courthouse Research
- Court Paper “Walk-Throughs”
And that wraps up our episode for today. We hope that you’ve enjoyed listening to us talk about all things related process serving!
If there was something specific that you’d like us to chat about in a future episode, please let us know, and we would love to cover it for you. We’ll be sure to respond promptly. Thank you again for listening and, until next week, thanks for tuning into our podcast!
The foregoing podcast has simply been presented for informational purposes only. He or those at Baton Rouge Process Servers are not attorneys. Laws and regulations vary among states and specific jurisdictions. If you seek further information about this topic or any other legal issues, please contact a legal professional in your local area.
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