When one party is obligated to reply to another's action in a court of law, that party must be given legal notice. Service of Process refers to the act of notifying parties of a particular court action by the delivery of legal papers. A variety of summonses, subpoenas, complaints, orders, writs, and other similar papers are often served to the parties involved in a case. Please click here to watch the video on process service.

The regulations governing Process Service differ from one jurisdiction to another, even within New York. Establishing the court's jurisdiction over the person being served is the purpose of service of process. Courts have the authority to declare defendants in default and transfer cases to plaintiffs or petitioners if the persons served choose to disregard the proceedings. Service via publication, certified mail, or alternative service are among the several methods of service. However, they may differ depending on the jurisdiction. A competent process server like those at Undisputed Legal will be familiar with the regulations of the jurisdictions they serve. If you found this article helpful, kindly consider leaving us a review. Click the link to share your feedback, and we would greatly appreciate a five-star review.

For Litigants

  1. Why hire a process server?

A process server should typically look out for the client’s best interests as they are effectively an extension of the client’s legal team. A competent process server is much more than just someone who delivers documents.  As a field representative and company extension, a process server should be someone the client can trust. First and foremost, look for a process server you can trust and establish rapport with. Here at Undisputed Legal, we pride ourselves on being experts in all aspects of legal support.  

  1. When using process service, what kinds of papers are required to be delivered?

All records detailing the nature of the lawsuit filed against the defendant must be served. Process service is intended to bring to the defendant’s notice all the particulars of the case against them.  Summons, complaints, writs, and subpoenas are all examples of legal documents that fall under this category. 

  1. How long does process service take?

The specifics of each case determine the length of the service. When the service papers are received as an urgent assignment, Undisputed Legal offers Same-Day Service in New York City.  It usually takes two to three days to complete service (with Routine Service offered by Undisputed Legal), assuming the address is accurate. The timescale might be extended if the address is incorrect and a new one has to be found or if the individual is deliberately evading service.

  1. When someone refuses to be served, what are the consequences?

While it is ideal to serve the individual personally, there are situations when it is permissible to leave the papers with a household member (minimum age varies by state) if the individual is not at home. The term for this is substituted service. 

Following this, a process server will often try to wait for the defendant at a site where they are believed to be at a stakeout. This is often their residence; however, process servers may sometimes be allowed to wait for individuals who adhere to specific schedules at certain locations. A party has the opportunity to submit a move for an alternative service if a substituted service is not available, a stakeout was unsuccessful, or if there is no other household member. Publication in a publication selected by the court or mailing and posting at the address are two examples of what may be required in certain cases.  A server may leave papers with a member of the company or another authorized individual if it's an entity being served. The form of service determines this. 

The question of what ‘counts’ as service in New York City is fraught with misconceptions. Some people think that for paperwork to be ‘served,’ it has to be physically given to the recipient. This is incorrect. Legally, service is complete regardless of whether the receiver signs or accepts the papers.  What matters is that the process server has recognized and informed them that they are in possession of legal documents. 

  1. Can anybody serve as a process server?

Anyone over the age of eighteen who is not already embroiled in the litigation may serve as a process server in some jurisdictions.  Some states, including Texas and Arizona, have license requirements. If the opposite party is located in another city, state, or even nation or is trying to evade service, a private process server may be engaged to speed up the procedure.  While sheriffs, constables, and U.S. marshals may be summoned to serve as process servers, their other duties mean that their response times are often far longer than those of private process servers like those at Undisputed Legal.

Although process-serving licenses are not required statewide across New York, they may be required in some boroughs. For instance, it is mandatory to get a license from the New York City NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) for anybody wishing to provide services inside the five boroughs region of Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens, according to the City of New York. A Process Server Individual Licence is necessary for those who serve five or more processes in any given year in the locations that need it. This licensing requirement is not applicable to government officials who serve process as part of their employment or attorneys authorized to practice in New York State. Our process servers at Undisputed Legal are entirely up to date with our licensing requirements. 

  1. When will I get notification that my paperwork has been served?

An Affidavit of Service, a signed document that must be submitted to the court, will be given to the attorney of record by a process server.  This is a mandatory aspect of service. Who performed the service, when, and when is all detailed in the affidavit. In the event that the designated recipient cannot be identified, the process server will be required to submit an Affidavit of Due Diligence. This document gives individuals the authority to seek other delivery methods.

  1. In what ways may I serve legal papers abroad? 

The process of providing services on a global scale may be fraught with difficulty and expense. U.S. courts cannot establish jurisdiction over foreign service without following the correct procedures. This approval is usually obtained by a formal request sent to the Hague Service Convention’s Central Authority. But this is just for nations that are part of the Hague Convention's responsibilities. The United States government must send a formal request, known as a Letter Rogatory (or a letter of request,) to the foreign governing body in order to get their consent. 

These problems greatly complicate the process of serving documents, and there is less certainty that a party will get a response. Service by agent is also an option for services that do not need the execution of a judgment. At Undisputed Legal, we can conduct service across the globe. Our experienced local process server network has been a mainstay for international process for years now. 

  1. Can I hire a process server to aid in my legal documents in court?

Often, yes. The majority of process servers also provide a variety of legal assistance services, such as electronic filing and document filing. An extra charge for this service is likely. However, in New York City, we at Undisputed Legal offer a variety of facilities to you. In addition to serving legal documents, process servers may retrieve documents, submit them to the courts, and even provide investigations, including skip tracing, person locates, surveillance, and more.

  1. What is a ‘proof of service’ and  an ‘affidavit of service’?

The process server will present you with a signed document known as an Affidavit of Service, which is often referred to as a proof of service after they have served the papers. The proof of service includes the who, what, and when of service. We can give you a variety of various affidavits as a client. For example, in the event that the intended recipient cannot be traced, an Affidavit of Due Diligence might be submitted.

For Process servers

  1. How to go about obtaining a Process Server license in New York City

Obtaining or renewing a Process Server Individual license in New York City requires passing an examination. The DCWP Licencing Centre is where new Process Server Individual license candidates take the test. Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, is when the test is administered. Only new licensees may register for the exam. 

  1. When is the deadline to sign up to take the test?

The fully executed Licence Renewal Application (with all necessary papers and renewal and test payments) will be processed by DCWP seventy-two hours after you have registered to sit the exam. Please note that the necessary documentation and money must be received and processed by DCA before a server can register to take the test.  Once the individual’s details are entered into the system, they will have thirty days to complete the test. Each candidate has two attempts to clear the exam.

  1. What identification must I provide for the process server exam?

Each individual is required to provide a valid government-issued picture ID with the candidate’s signature that is not expired. Identity can be ascertained via an IDNYC  (Municipal ID) card, a driver’s license, a passport, or a military ID.  The process of applying for and paying for a new Process Server Individual license and the exam costs must be repeated in the event of a second failure.

  1. What is the scope of the test?

Each process server must know the rules and regulations of the city and state to serve the process legitimately, and that's what the test covers. This quiz will evaluate these standards' knowledge and practical applications via a series of questions. The test provides multiple-choice questions typically about test process service scenarios. The minimum number of questions needed to pass the test is twenty-one.

  1. What do process servers need to study?

New York General Business Law, New York Civil Practise Law and Rules, New York Domestic Relations Law, New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law, and New York Business Corporation Law are all part of the educational materials for process servers created by the DCWP. It is recommended that process servers familiarize themselves with the legalities of New York City to ensure that documents are served quickly and efficiently. 

  1. What are the recordkeeping requirements in New York City?

Governor Hochul signed A measure into law on May 9th, 2022, altering New York State General Business Law Section 89-cc. The bill removes the need for process servers to retain paper logbooks in favor of electronic records.  The bill came into effect on June 8th, although servers still need to follow all the rules and regulations set forth by the DCWP, with the exception of keeping a paper logbook. Licensed process servers are required to submit their Certification Concerning Service in Housing Court twice yearly via the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection’s (DCWP) Process Server Portal.

The DCWP Process Server Portal is the only way for licensed process servers and process-serving organizations to update their rosters and submit traversal reports. Licensed process-serving agencies may submit disciplinary Actions and Non-compliance Reports using the DCWP Process Server Portal.

  1. How will I know if my process service license is suspended?

DCWP notifies licensed process servers of license suspensions, revocations, renewal denials, fines, and the reasons behind these actions. Typically, it is important to check back for changes since the information is not updated every day.  If necessary, legal counsel can lodge a grievance with a process server or process-serving agency. 

If a process server opts to have a third party maintain their electronic records, DCWP must request a certified copy of the records in an MS Excel spreadsheet that follows the fields and data format specified in 6 RCNY Section 2-233(a)(2). The copy must be accurate and true. 

  1. What are the GPS requirements for process servers?

Process servers are obligated to keep GPS data as well. While serving process, process servers are required to have and use an electronic device that records their GPS position, time, and date. The GPS Contractor is obligated to provide DCWP with details pertaining to process servers' GPS records, prepared using the GPS Records Template (in Excel), whenever DCWP requests such details.

Every person who works as a process server is required to submit an electronic device certification form to DCWP.  This document is only needed by process-serving agencies that have contracted with an independent third party to offer the services required by Section 2-233b of Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York to process server persons.

  1. What are other compliance requirements in New York City? 

Title 6, Rule 2-234a(b)(2)(i)-(ii) of the City of New York's Rules mandates that licensed process serving agencies verify the accuracy and completeness of each process server's records on a monthly basis. Each process-serving agency must document its examination of each process server's records in a written report prepared and submitted at the end of each month. 

  1. Is there anything a process server has to pay?

A surety bond in the amount of USD100,000 is required of process serving agencies. Any individual seeking to act as a process server has three options: [A.] post the surety bond, [B.] join the DCWP trust fund, or [C.] seek exemption. The DCWP Process Server Portal is the only way for licensed process servers and process-serving firms to submit Traverse Reports.

Efficiency and efficacy are the top priorities of our process servers at Undisputed Legal. They have a track record of successfully tracing persons and ensuring the timely delivery of legal papers. When it comes to legal concerns, our servers can be invaluable for prompt assistance. We also provide skip-tracing services in cases when the person to be served is difficult to find. Even if a person has relocated or is trying to evade service, they may be located with the use of their knowledge and resources.

Our servers have extensive knowledge of the area's topography and judicial system. The intricacies of serving legal papers in various New York City neighborhoods and jurisdictions may be better navigated with this local expertise.  To avoid any legal complications, it is important to have a reliable specialist do the procedure. Our Undisputed Legal process servers are up to date with the licensing requirements of New York City and can ensure that your papers are delivered without a hitch. 


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Pick up the phone and call Toll-Free (800) 774-6922 or click the service you want to purchase. Our dedicated team of professionals is ready to help you out. We can handle all your process service needs;  For information on, What is a Process Server, Click Here!

Please feel free to contact us for more information about our process-serving agency. We are ready to provide service of process to all our clients globally from our offices in New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C.

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1.New York State Unified Court System. ‘Substituted Service.’ Substituted Service | NY CourtHelp, 

2. The Lobby at 42 Broadway in Lower Manhattan You may take the test in DCA's Testing Room at the Licencing Centre once you've submitted your licence application (either online or in person).

3. To assist businesses in keeping tabs on the amount of site visits or customers claiming improper delivery of court documents (‘sewer service’), DCWP developed a spreadsheet