Process Service

PROCESS SERVER REQUIREMENTS ACCORDING TO THE STATES

United States

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Hiring a process server is an important step in ensuring a legal matter is heard by the court with as little hassle as possible. The process server’s role is to provide the defendants with notice of a pending lawsuit asserted against them.

Process service regulations ensure that the server responsible for delivering documents meets federal and state requirements for the process. A few states include acquiring a process server license in the compliance necessary actually to begin work as a server. The rules are not uniform across the country, and many states do not require the servers to be licensed. Even though the number of states with mandatory licensing is growing, the country’s main requirements specify that the server needs to be of age (eighteen years old) and disinterested in the case. This means that the server cannot be a party in the ongoing case.

HOW TO BECOME A PROCESS SERVER IN NEW YORK

New York

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Process serving is a part of the United States’ legal system, referring to the delivery of key legal documents like the complaint, summons, etc. It refers to the procedure through which notification is provided to the defendant as to the legal action initiated against them and is done to ensure that the court’s personal jurisdiction requirements on the parties are fulfilled. If the defendant ignores further pleadings or fails to participate in the proceedings, the court may find the defendant in default and award relief to the petitioner.

The server can be [A.] a friend or relative, [B.] a co-worker [C.]  county sheriff or marshal [D.] a process server; or [D.] anyone over 18. However, it is necessary to ensure that whoever the server is, they are of age (eighteen years old at least) and that they are a disinterested party who is not remotely party to the case. The service then needs to be done so that the opposition has enough time to prepare. Finally, the server needs to fill out a proof of service form detailing the service report and returning said proof to file the same with the county clerk in the court.

Serving Divorce Papers In New York

divorce

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Service of process for a divorce case differs from traditional service. In a divorce petition [or divorce summons], the exact details of what is being sought and the marriage information are crucial. 

The first step before service is filing the paperwork at the county court to ensure the court has jurisdiction over the case and can thus allow the notification of the initiation of divorce proceedings to the other spouse. Filing the form with the county clerk usually involves a certain fee to be paid to obtain the index number. It is often required to fill out the Index Number Application Form. Consequently, the parties’ particulars will have to be provided (either by representative attorneys or the parties themselves.)

The process for filing divorce needs to be communicated as soon as possible insofar as the other spouse needs to address questions asked and actually have knowledge of what they are being asked. Consequently, service must be done in a reasonable amount of time. The stakes are higher in a divorce case, as the court must be sure that the receiving spouse has been made aware of the divorce case. Mostly, attorneys take care of the same. If not, however, there are ways of ensuring that divorce papers are served.

SERVING LEGAL PAPERS: UNDERSTANDING PERSONAL SERVICE IN NEW YORK

New York State Rules and Laws

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Without proper service, a suit is impossible. The court needs to acquire personal jurisdiction over a defendant, which cannot be done without proper process service. The CPLR 308 sets forth several methods by which service of process may be effectuated on an individual.

[1.0] OVERVIEW AS TO THE CPLR

The CPLR provides information as to personal service upon a natural person. This could consist of personal delivery, delivery by mail, or through an agent. 

Personal delivery refers to the highest form of service, wherein service is provided within the state to the actual person to be served. Personal service is a part of the actual service, wherein the complaint or the summons is delivered in hand to the respondent. Personal service forms a triad of basic delivery with substituted service and constructive service. 

COMPLETE BREAKDOWN OF THE HAGUE SERVICE CONVENTION ARTICLES

International Law

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Service of process abroad means that there is absolutely no way to escape the Hague Convention,  even if one wished to. This is doubtful, however, as the Hague Convention essentially compiled conflicting internal laws of over 73 countries into framework legislation intended to standardize service of process regardless of where one lives.

The Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents (commonly referred to as the “Hague Convention”) is an international treaty formulated in 1964  and ratified in 1967. The purpose of the Convention was to establish a streamlined service of process mechanisms and facilitate service regardless of where an individual is situated. Properly construing its provisions means understanding the United States Constitution.

The primary innovations of the Convention are [A.] the Establishment of a Central Authority or  Authorities in each country as the receiving agent for service requests from other contracting countries, [B.] mandating the use of three model forms for the transmission of requests abroad,  and the return of executed requests and [C.] a broad elimination of the involvement of domestic and foreign courts.

PROCESS SERVERS WANTED

  NOW HIRING – ONLY FIVE POSITIONS AVAILABLE

Undisputed Legal Inc. is one of the nation’s largest process service agency, providing service of process and related services for many of the country’s most notable law firms, financial institutions, and insurance companies. We seek licensed process servers to serve legal documents in Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx (must cover the entire borough). Candidates must have great communication skills and understand what it takes to be effective in properly serving defendants, speaking with neighbors, and obtaining vehicle descriptions are required. This is an Independent Process Server position, and your services will be required on an as-needed basis.

CONTRACT VALUE $50,000.00 

All applicants must meet the following requirements for consideration:
Must be 18 years or older
Must have a valid Process Server License
Must be able to write reports and perform administrative work at home, notarized affidavits of service/nonservice.
Reliable transportation and a valid driver’s license.
Functional computer with printer, scanner capability, Internet service, digital camera, GPS navigation, and smartphone (I Phone or Android).
Experience in process service, law enforcement, security, or private investigation is a plus.

To be considered for this position, visit https://undisputedlegal.com/careers/. *in your application, make sure to include the following information, the area you are applying for, and your years of experience.  

 

UNDERSTANDING ALTERNATE METHODS OF INTERNATIONAL PROCESS SERVICE

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Service of process abroad always means a menu of choices, each of which comes with trade-offs of costs, certainty, and punctuality.   No universal method of service can be achieved in these cases, and research must be done to determine the most efficacious method of service in this particular case. 

In this regard, issues of timing almost always come up in terms of service of process abroad.  Even in domestic cases, timing is the main facet of litigation strategy. Since service of process abroad takes longer than service in the state, the time taken to serve the documents turns determinative in a foreign jurisdiction, particularly where the statute of limitations may expire. 

Even if the statute of limitations isn’t an issue, the speed of the method of service is paramount. Often, process service is the fastest means of executing service, if permitted. This is followed by service through the Hague Service Convention Central Authority and mail service (questionable since this might be more unpredictable as some countries do not permit service by mail, and even if they do, require a return receipt.) Letters rogatory take the longest time and is generally considered to be the slowest method of service. 

UNDERSTANDING SERVICE OF PROCESS ABROAD

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Service of process is essential for any case to move forward. Untimely or ineffective service of process effectively shuts down a case immediately, and ‘without proper service of process, consent, waiver, or forfeiture, a court may not exercise personal jurisdiction over a named defendant.” 

The provision of legal papers to other parties in a case is known as service, and this commences a case. It must be noted here that while service of papers is usually done in person, service of subsequent papers may be done through First Class Mail (pursuant to judges order or agreement made between parties). Adhering to the rules of service of process essentially gives notice of the existence of the case and effectuates the court’s jurisdiction over a person. 

NEW YORK PROCESS SERVER RULE – SERVING A REGISTERED AGENT

 

DID YOU KNOW…

In addition to the designation of the secretary of state, each domestic limited liability company or authorized foreign limited liability company may designate a registered agent upon whom process against the limited liability company may be served. (b) The agent must be either: (1) a natural person who is a resident of this state or has a business address in this state; (2) a domestic limited liability company or an authorized foreign limited liability company; or (3) a domestic corporation or a foreign corporation authorized to do business in this state. (d) The registered agent of a limited liability company may resign as such agent. The registered agent shall file a certificate with the department of state entitled “Certificate of the resignation of the registered agent of… (name of limited liability company) under subdivision (d) of section three hundred two of the Limited Liability Company Law” and executed by such registered agent. Such certificate shall set forth: (1) the name of the limited liability company, and if it has been changed, the name under which it was formed. With respect to a foreign limited liability company, there shall be set forth its name and, if applicable, the fictitious name the foreign limited liability company has agreed to use in this state pursuant to section eight hundred two of this chapter; (2) the date the articles of organization or application for authority was filed by the department of state; (3) that he or she resigns as the registered agent of the limited liability company; and (4) that he or she has sent a copy of the certificate of resignation by registered mail to the limited liability company at the post office address on file with the department of state specified for the mailing of process or, if such address is the address of the registered agent, to the office of the limited liability company in the jurisdiction of its formation. (e) The designation of a registered agent shall terminate thirty days after the filing with the department of state of the certificate of resignation. A certificate designating a new registered agent may be delivered to the department of state by the limited liability company within the thirty days or thereafter.

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HOW TO SERVE LEGAL PAPERS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Rule 4. Summons 

(a) CONTENTS; AMENDMENTS. (1) Contents. A summons must: 

(A) name the court and the parties;

(B) be directed to the defendant;

(C) state the name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney or—if unrepresented—of the plaintiff;

(D) state the time within which the defendant must appear and defend;

(E) notify the defendant that a failure to appear and defend will result in a default judgment against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint; (F) be signed by the clerk; and

(G) bear the court’s seal. 

(2) Amendments. The court may permit a summons to be amended. 

(3) Service Outside the District of Columbia; Process Service in Suit Seeking Seizure of Property in the District of Columbia. A summons, or notice, or order in lieu of summons should correspond as nearly as possible to the requirements of a statute or rule whenever service is made pursuant to a statute or rule that provides for: