When legal action is taken against someone, that person must be notified with physical documentation that describes the legal proceedings that will begin. This is called “service of process.” A person called a “process server” delivers these papers to the person involved in the court proceedings. Once the papers are delivered, the process server must provide proof that the papers were served, called – creatively – “proof of service.”
Process servers must deliver the papers directly to the person involved in the court case, and the papers delivered may vary in subject, from writs to subpoenas to testify, summons to appear, or formal complaints.
It can sometimes be confusing to know whether or not a process server is necessary in your case. Here are four situations in which you’ll likely need a process server:
If you live in certain states or counties:
Depending on the state where you live, it may be a legal requirement to have a process server involved in any type of court proceedings. Your attorney will know what your state’s laws are and whether or not they may be applicable to individuals in other states, and can advise as to whether or not you’ll need to have one.
If the case involves large sums of money:
If you’re suing an individual or organization for a large sum of money, you will want to have a process server deliver the papers. If you’re dealing with a small claims case, you won’t need one in many states, but more serious cases should involve a process server to deliver official paperwork.
If you’re subpoenaing someone to appear in court:
If you’re not a lawyer, you may not ever be in this situation, but if someone is being subpoenaed to appear in court, they’ll need to be served papers by a process server.
To ensure a defendant in your case is given due process:
A defendant in a case, no matter what kind of case, deserves to have due process of the law – and in fact is guaranteed it by the Constitution. This means that they must be officially notified of any and all proceedings taking place in which they are involved. Ensuring that you’ve performed your legal obligations and given due process to a defendant can even benefit you greatly as a plaintiff. If the defendant in your case fails to show up in court but the process server has shown proof that the papers were delivered, you may be able to receive automatic ruling in your favor.
A knowledgeable process server provides a range of benefits, not only in finding the party who needs to be serviced, but also in ensuring that the law is followed to the letter and the defendants are notified as they should. Knowing and following the process service rules can only help your case move forward more quickly and efficiently. If you’re in need of a process server for your case in Oklahoma City or the surrounding region, call RKJ Investigations today at 405-562-6479.