This article will provide guidance on What Do Process Servers in Georgia Do? A process server’s job is to hand court papers to the appropriate people involved in a case. The term ‘court proceedings’ include both public and private cases, as well as subpoenas, complaints, and other forms of the legal process. State laws concerning the service of process do differ. State rules, regulations, and limits dictate the manner and timing of how and when a process server must serve legal papers.
Georgia does not mandate a license for process servers, although certain counties in the state may need registration with the court system, a criminal history check, and an appointment by a court administrator or judge. A court order must be served by the sheriff of the county where the action is filed or by another person the court appoints to do the service.
WHO CAN BE A PROCESS SERVER IN GEORGIA
While the state of Georgia does not mandate any specific training or licensing for process servers, some county courts in the state do require process servers to register with their respective court systems, pass a background check, and be appointed by the court administrator or judge before they can serve legal documents. It is always preferable to have a process server to know what they are doing, however. At Undisputed Legal, our process servers are licensed and well-trained in Georgia laws and are able to provide the smoothest process service experience possible.
Service of process may be made by the sheriff of the county in which the action is filed or by a process server designated by the court. Becoming a certified process server is a prerequisite for appointment in certain jurisdictions.
If an individual wants to be appointed to a court position, they will need to fill out an application in every county where they want to serve. The applicant may find the applications and other paperwork required by a court on its website. As soon as the applicants have finished filling out the application, they should send it to the Clerk so the court can approve it.
REQUIREMENTS OF PROCESS SERVICE IN GEORGIA
A motion and order for special appointment must be filed if the court does not appoint a process server for the service. Service of process may be made by the sheriff or a deputy sheriff of the county where the action is brought or where the defendant is found, or by the marshal or sheriff of the court, or by a deputy marshal or sheriff of the court, or by any citizen of the United States specially appointed by the court for that purpose, or by an adult who is not a party to the action and who has been appointed as a permanent process server by the court.
To determine whether an applicant is qualified to be certified and authorized to act as a process server in Georgia, the sheriff of any county in Georgia should review the application, test score, criminal record check, and such other information or documentation as required by that sheriff. There is an application fee of eighty dollars that must be paid to the sheriff in order to complete the paperwork necessary to comply with Georgia Code provisions. As soon as the complaint is filed, the clerk must issue a summons and have it served. Summonses against any defendants may be issued alone or in addition to those already issued at the plaintiff’s request.
In order to keep our clients looped at every single step of the way, we ensure that we provide [A.] GPS afﬁdavits of service; [B.] personalized ‘Real-Time’ email status updates and [C.] an email copy of afﬁdavit prior to mailing. This allows our clients to not worry about the status of service and be updated about what has happened to their documents. We also provide a free basic skip trace for new clients.
HOW DOES THE PROCESS SERVER DELIVER SERVICE
The summons must be signed by the clerk, including the names of the court and county as well as the parties, be addressed to the defendant, including the name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney if one is being used, and finally, notify the defendant that they will be subject to a default judgment by default if they do not appear and file the appropriate defensive pleadings with the clerk of the court within the time frame specified in this chapter.
Service within this state must be completed within five (5) days of the individual receiving the summons and complaint; however, a failure to complete service within this time frame does not render a subsequent service of process invalid. Complaints and summonses must be served jointly. The plaintiff is required to provide the court clerk with as many copies as are required.
A copy of the summons and the complaint will be delivered to the defendant. In general, if the defendant in respect of whom service is sought resides outside the state, has left the state, cannot be located within the state despite reasonable efforts, or conceals themself to avoid service of the summons, and it appears, by affidavit to the satisfaction of the judge or clerk of the court, that a claim exists against the defendant in respect to whom service is sought, then service may be made by publication. A copy of the notice, together with a copy of the order for service by publication and complaint, should be enclosed, directed, stamped, and mailed to the party named in the order at their last known address within fifteen days after the filing of the order for service by publication.
At Undisputed Legal, all types of legal paperwork (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 more) are served by our Georgia process servers. We serve legal documents to individuals, businesses, government agencies, and other organizations throughout Georgia.
We have three (3) levels of process service available in Georgia, and we use only Georgia-based process servers to provide the highest quality of service to each of our customers. All the customer has to do is choose between two processing times: [A.] routine service, wherein the server will make their first attempt within five to seven business days [B.] rush service, wherein service will take place within forty-eight hours. There is also an additional service called mail service wherein documents will be sent within twenty-four hours.
A process server in Georgia will make up to three (3) efforts to hand deliver your documents, regardless of whatever service option you choose (Routine or Rush) (Morning, Afternoon & Evening).
OUT-OF-STATE SERVICE IN GEORGIA AND RESTRICTIONS TO PROCESS SERVICE IN GEORGIA
An order for personal service out of state may be granted if the court is satisfied by the facts set forth in an affidavit or by the allegations in a verified complaint on file that a claim is asserted against the person in respect to whom service is to be made and that he is a necessary or proper party to the action. A copy of the complaint and the process should be personally delivered to the individuals to be served.
Service of process may be made at any location inside or outside of the state’s borders as the law may permit. Proof of service should be filed with the court as soon as practicable and, in any case, within the time frame within which the party being served is required to reply. In its discretion, the court may permit any process or evidence of service thereof to be altered under such conditions as it considers equitable unless it seems that serious injury would arise to the substantial rights of the person against whom the process is issued.
A copy of the complaint or other pleading, with the summons attached thereto, and a copy of the affidavit to be submitted to the court should be served on the Secretary of State, their duly authorized agent, or his successor in office in order to effect service of process upon a nonresident. Service upon any such nonresident will be deemed to have been made upon him or her if notice of such service and a copy of the complaint and process are promptly sent by registered or certified mail to the defendant, if their address is known, and the defendant’s return receipt and the plaintiff’s affidavit of compliance are attached to the summons or other process and filed with the summons, complaint, and other papers in the case.
Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed email@example.com, 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., All documents are received by our receptionist.
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Long Island: (516) 208-4577 – 626 RXR Plaza, 6th Floor, Uniondale, New York 11556
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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
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1. Individuals seeking certification under OCGA 9-11-4.1 must first complete a 12-hour pre-certification course, then pass a test given by the Administrative Office of the Courts, then get a surety bond, provide a valid birth certificate, and finally submit fingerprints for a background check.
2. Upon acceptance, the applicant must execute the following written oath: ‘I, the undersigned, sincerely swear (or affirm) that it is my intention to uphold the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Georgia in my official capacity as a process server. Moreover, I confirm that I will not serve any documents or process in any action in which I have a direct or indirect financial or personal interest, or in which the decision might affect the financial or personal interests of any individual connected to me by blood or marriage.’
3. At the time of certification, a sheriff of any county in this state must provide an identity card to each qualified process server. The ID card will not resemble a police badge in any way, shape, or form and will instead have artwork that clearly differentiates its holder. While serving legal documents, a process server must always have their credentials readily available for inspection.
Any individual who advertises or holds themselves out as a process server but does not possess such a certification will be in violation of the law. Whoever breaches this provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.
4. Each time a charge is collected, the sheriff must provide $30 to the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association. It is the responsibility of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association to keep track of qualified process servers.
5. Non-residents must be served with a copy of the notice that was published in a newspaper; however, they need not receive a physical copy of the newspaper. The delivery of a copy of the summons, complaint, and order of publishing outside of the state in lieu of publication will be deemed to be service of notice by publication and to mailing, whether shown to the satisfaction of the court or otherwise, where service by publication is ordered. The deadline for the defendant to submit an answer or other defence documents is thirty days from the date of such personal service outside of the state.
6. The following shall constitute proof of service:
- Affidavit or certificate of sheriff, marshal, or deputy who made service;
- Affidavit of such, if made by any other competent person;
- The clerk of court’s certificate attesting to publication and mailing if served by publication; or
- The defendant’s signed consent to or acceptance of service. If service is made in a way other than publishing, the certificate or affidavit must specify when, where, and how the documents were delivered. A failure to provide evidence of service will not invalidate the service.
7. In proceedings in the probate courts and in any other special statutory proceedings, the methods of service provided for in this Code section may be used in addition to, instead of, or in lieu of the method of service specifically provided for in any such proceeding; and, in any such proceeding, service shall be sufficient when made in accordance with the statutes relating particularly to the proceeding.
8. Ga. L. 1966, p. 609, 4; Ga. L. 1967, p. 226, 1-3, 51; Ga. L. 1968, p. 1036, 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 1104, 1, 2; Ga. L. 1969, p. 487, 1; Ga. L. 1972, p. 689, 1-3; Ga. L. 1980, p. 1124,
9. Service of process on the Secretary of State under this Code section will incur the fee specified in Section 45-13-26, which will be charged and collected by the Secretary of State.