Q:

How do you serve court papers as a process server?

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Quick Answer

Process servers deliver court documents such as subpoenas, summons, writs, complaints, or orders to show cause to individuals involved in legal cases by visiting their homes and places of work, according to Process Servers. Multiple visits are often necessary as process-server targets are sometimes difficult to locate.

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Full Answer

In most cases, process servers must deliver the court documents to their targets by hand and instruct the target to sign for the documents. The process server must then have the receiver's signature notarized, Process Servers explains. If delivering the documents by hand is impossible, the process server is in some instances able to use substituted service. In substituted service, the process server leaves the documents with management personnel at the target's place of employment or with an adult member of the target's household. Process servers also provide document-filing service, in which they file the signed documents with the court, Process Servers notes. Process Servers usually charge an additional fee for this service. Process servers also provide the sender of the legal documents with an Affidavit of Service, also known as a Proof of Service, which is proof that the target received the documents, explains Process Servers. Process servers must be licensed in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Illinois, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas, as of 2015.

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