This article will provide guidance on What Do Process Servers in California Do? When filing a lawsuit against an individual, business, or governmental entity, an individual must formally notify the opposing party that they have initiated legal proceedings. When the person is already a party to a lawsuit and they submit documents to the court, they must also notify the opposing party. The proper legal procedure for providing formal notice is serving the opposing party with a copy of the documents filed with the court.
Any document you submit to the court must be ‘served’ to the opposing party. In ‘service,’ it is the responsibility of a third party (and not yourself) to hand over the documents to the receiving party physically. The individual performing this function is the ‘server’ or the ‘process server.’ Judges cannot issue final rulings or orders before they have ‘served’ the opposing party.
process servers IN CALIFORNIA
It is not necessary to get a license to serve legal documents in California; instead, process servers must register and obtain a bond. A person must register with the county in which they live or have their major place of business if they intend to serve more than ten papers in a calendar year. Applicants must have lived in California continuously for the twelve months prior to the filing date of their application since registration is state-wide. It is unnecessary to take any exams or get any training. A USD 2,000 bond or cash deposit is needed from all applicants. A licensed private investigator does not need to be registered, but only a registered process server may legally serve bank levies and other comparable paperwork.
Only bonded and licensed process servers in California who have completed the necessary training and education requirements are allowed to serve court papers in California. Undisputed Legal, Inc. makes it our business to track down and serve court documents on elusive defendants and witnesses. Please visit our rules and laws page, California Rules of Civil Procedure. For instructions on How To Serve Legal Papers in California, Click Here!
OUT-OF-STATE process SERVICE IN CALIFORNIA
Service outside the United States should be made in accordance with the law of the place where the person is located or as directed by the foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory, as directed by the court in which the action is pending, if the court determines either before or after service that such service is reasonably calculated to give actual notice.
The court in which the action is pending may order that the summons be served in a manner reasonably calculated to give actual notice to the party to be served and that proof of such service be made as prescribed by the court.
All process servers in California who serve process for compensation, as well as any corporation or partnership that derives compensation for service of process within California, are required to be registered with the county clerk in the county where they reside or have their principal place of business. Private investigators with valid licenses and staff are free from this requirement.
At Undisputed Legal, we require all our process servers in California to be up to date on their licensing and registration requirements. We are also accountable to our clients every step of the way, providing emailed ‘real-time’ affidavits of service as well as GPS positioning of the servers provided to our clients with your updates. If you are a new client, you may get a free basic skip trace by emailing an affidavit before mailing it.
WHAT DOES A PROCESS SERVER HAVE TO DO IN CALIFORNIA
A copy of the summons and the complaint may be delivered to the defendant in person. If a summons is served in this way, it is considered served at the moment it is delivered. The copy of the summons must have the date of personal delivery written on or fastened to the front. A summons need not specify a date of service in order to be legitimate. A copy of the summons and complaint must be left at the defendant’s business, residence, or regular mailing address.
A summons may be served by leaving a copy of the summons and the complaint during usual office hours with the person who is in charge thereof and then mailing a copy of the summons and the complaint (by first-class mail, postage prepaid) to the person to be served. A summons served this way is considered served on the tenth day after mailing.
A summons may be served by leaving a copy of the summons and the complaint at such person’s dwelling house, usual place of abode, usual place of business, or usual mailing address other than a United States Postal Service post office box, in the presence of a competent member of the household if personal delivery cannot be made with reasonable diligence.
At Undisputed Legal, we ensure the process is served quickly and with little hassle to the client. All types of legal papers (summonses, complaints, divorce papers, family court documents, subpoenas, citations, small claims court cases, orders to show cause, petitions, discovery documents, evictions, landlord/tenant notifications, motions, and so on) are served by our process servers in California.
To ensure that our customers get the highest quality California process service possible, we work only with experienced process servers in California. We perform service based on individual needs and offer three different forms of service: routine process service, wherein the first attempt will be made by the Process Server within five to seven business days; rush process service, wherein the Process Server will attempt to service the first time within forty-eight hours and service via mail, wherein documents will be sent within twenty-four hours.
Both the Routine and Rush options provide up to three (3) efforts to deliver legal documents to the intended recipient, with the only variation being the time frame they provide.
SPECIFIC PROCESS SERVICE IN CALIFORNIA
The server completes the process service; the documents are handed over to the party. The server must determine the correct recipient’s identity, then provide the legal documents to that person while explaining that they are court documents.
The papers might be dropped on the floor in front of the person being served if they refuse to accept them. The service will be deemed complete no matter what the recipient does to the documents after receiving them. There is no need for the individual being served to sign anything. The server then records the time, location, and method of service (in person) on a proof of service form. The evidence of service is signed by the server and given back to the plaintiff to submit to the court.
When documents are served in person, service is complete on the day they are served. In the case of ‘personal service,’ the court knows that the person being served received the documents and, if required, may examine the process server about the ‘service.’
Since ‘personal service’ is the most trustworthy, it may be used in every scenario. Because of its reliability, the first documents (petition or complaint) in a lawsuit are often required to be served. Upon presentation of a valid driver’s license or other identification and one of the following, any server is permitted entry into a gated community for a reasonable period solely for the purpose of performing lawful service of process or service of a subpoena.
For notice sent by mail, it often requires a description by mailing a copy of the summons and complaint to the defendant via first-class mail or airmail, along with two copies of the notice and acknowledgment form. Service is complete on the date defendant executes a written acknowledgment; if the form is not returned within twenty days of mailing, the defendant will be liable for reasonable costs in being served by another permitted method.
A copy of the summons and complaint and the appropriate fee may be sent to a non-resident to be served at their last known address, with postage prepaid and a request for a return receipt requested if the person being served resides outside of this state. When a summons is served this way, it is considered served on the tenth day after mailing.
A summons may be served on an unidentified business entity by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint at the office of the entity during normal business hours with the person in apparent charge of the office of the entity or by mailing a copy of the summons and complaint to the individual being served by first-class mail, postage prepaid, at the address at which the original copy of the summons was left. On the tenth day following mailing, service is considered complete.
The process server needs to complete a proof of service form specifying who was served, when, where, and how, and return it to the client so that they may submit it to the court. Multiple methods exist for delivering legal notices. The descriptions of the services provided here are broad in scope. Some of them may be forbidden in certain situations or at certain points in the process. As a result, only certain of these methods of assistance may be appropriate depending on circumstances.
Service is crucial but may be difficult. If it is not done properly, your case will be dismissed. At Undisputed Legal, we attempt to remove some of the hassles of serving documents with our highly trained process servers and prompt service.
When papers are ‘served by mail,’ they are sent to the opposite side of the case by a third party not involved in the dispute. Undisputed Legal provides document service by mail within twenty-four hours of receiving the documents. The individual must verify the service via mail is permitted before proceeding.
The documents are sent to the addressee through postal mail by the server. If the party served is an individual, the documents might be sent to that person’s residence or postal address. In the case of a company, the documents should be sent to the company’s principal place of business or the company’s agent for service if it has one. Once the documents have been sent, the five-day waiting period for service by mail to be complete begins.
Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or uploaded to our website. We do require pre-payment and accept all major credit and debit cards. Once payment is processed, your sales receipt is immediately emailed for your records.
Drop-offs must call and make an appointment first to be added to building security to permit access to our office. Documents for service must be in a sealed envelope with payment in the form of a money order or attorney check (WE DO NOT ACCEPT CASH) payable to UNDISPUTED LEGAL INC.; Our receptionist will receive all documents.
DOMESTIC COVERAGE AREAS:
Alaska | Alabama | Arkansas | Arizona | California | Colorado | Connecticut | District of Columbia | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Iowa | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maryland | Massachusetts | Maine| Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | North Carolina | North Dakota | Nebraska | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | Nevada | New York | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island| South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Virginia | Vermont | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
INTERNATIONAL COVERAGE AREAS:
Albania | Andorra | Anguilla | Antigua | Argentina | Armenia | Australia | Austria | Azerbaijan | Bahamas | Barbados | Belarus | Belgium | Belize | Bermuda | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Botswana | Brazil | British Honduras | British Virgin Islands | Bulgaria | Canada | Cayman Islands | Central and Southern Line Islands | Chile|China (Macao) | China People’s Republic | Colombia | Costa Rica | Country of Georgia | Croatia | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Dominican Republic | Ecuador | Egypt | Estonia | Falkland Islands and Dependences | Fiji | Finland | France | Germany | Gibraltar | Gilbert and Ellice Islands | Greece | Guernsey | Hong Kong | Hungary | Iceland | India | Ireland | Isle of Man | Israel | Italy | Jamaica | Japan | Jersey Channel Islands | Jordan | Kazakhstan | Korea | Kuwait | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg| Malawi | Malaysia | Malta | Mauritius | Mexico| Monaco | Montenegro | Montserrat | Morocco | Namibia | Netherlands | New Zealand |Nicaragua | Norway | Pakistan | Panama | Paraguay | Peru | Philippines | Pitcairn |Poland| Portugal | Republic of Moldova | Republic of North Macedonia | Romania |Russian Federation | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | San Marino | Saudi Arabia | Serbia | Seychelles | Singapore| Slovakia | Slovenia | South Africa | Spain | Sri Lanka | St. Helena and Dependencies | St. Lucia | Sweden | Switzerland | Taiwan | Thailand | Tunisia | Turkey | Turks and Caicos Islands| Ukraine | United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland | Uruguay | US Virgin Islands | Uzbekistan | Venezuela | Vietnam
New York: (212) 203-8001 – 590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, New York 10022
Brooklyn: (347) 983-5436 – 300 Cadman Plaza West, 12th Floor, Brooklyn, New York 11201
Queens: (646) 357-3005 – 118-35 Queens Blvd, Suite 400, Forest Hills, New York 11375
Long Island: (516) 208-4577 – 626 RXR Plaza, 6th Floor, Uniondale, New York 11556
Westchester: (914) 414-0877 – 50 Main Street, 10th Floor, White Plains, New York 10606
Connecticut: (203) 489-2940 – 500 West Putnam Avenue, Suite 400, Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
New Jersey: (201) 630-0114 – 101 Hudson Street, 21 Floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
Washington DC: (202) 655-4450 – 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 300, Washington DC 20004
for assistance serving legal papers in CALIFORNIA
Simply 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 assist you. We can handle all your process service needs; no job is too small or too large! For a complete list of our California Process Service Coverage Areas, Click Here!
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. Per [Sections 22350 and 22353 of the California Business and Professions Code]
2. The Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters shall apply to and govern these guidelines (Hague Service Convention). (Revised under 1984 Stat. ch. 191, sec. 1)
3. § 413.20 There shall be no extension of any period provided in this title if a summons is served by mail according to this chapter, as the provisions of Section 1013 that prolong the time for exercising a right or executing an act shall not apply
4. A person’s unsworn statement, declaration, verification, certificate, oath, or affidavit (other than a deposition or an oath of office required to be taken before a specified official other than a notary public) may have the same force and effect as a sworn statement, declaration, verification, certificate, oath, or affidavit under any law of this state. This is an example of a form that may be used for the certificate or declaration:
‘I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury that the above is true and correct: (Date and Place) (Signature)’ (a) If signed inside this state.
I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the above is true and correct: (Date and location) (Signature)’ (b) If completed… inside or outside this state:
5. Documentation proving current registration as a process server under Division 8, Chapter 16 (beginning with Section 22350), or private investigator under Division 3, Chapter 11.3 (beginning with Section 7512) of the Business and Professions Code.
6. Identification showing that the bearer is authorized to represent a law enforcement agency, such as a county sheriff’s office or marshal’s department, or a prosecutor’s or defense attorney’s office, such as the Attorney General’s Office, county counsel, city attorney, district attorney, or public defender’s office.
7. When serving a corporation with a summons, it is customary to send a copy of the summons and complaint to the following addresses:
a) To the agent for service of process appointed under any provision in…
(b) to the president, other chief executive officers, vice president, secretary, assistant treasurer, general manager, or other person authorized by the company to receive…
8. A company that has a registered agent for the service of process on file with the Secretary of State is immune from the service of process as described.
9. Next, the process server completes a Proof of Service, which includes information such as the name and address of the recipient, the date and time of mailing, the method of mailing (first-class mail), and the sending location. The Proof of Service will be signed by the server and returned to you for court filing.