WHAT DO PROCESS SERVERS IN ILLINOIS DO?

This article will provide guidance on What Do Process Servers in Illinois Do? Service of process in Illinois is the legal practice whereby one party (such as a defendant), court, or administrative body that has jurisdiction over another person is formally notified of initiating legal proceedings against that person. A process server is an individual authorized to serve legal papers (called ‘process’) on behalf of a court.

A process server’s job is to deliver court papers to the appropriate people in a legal case. A variety of legal processes, including subpoenas, complaints, private lawsuits, and other judicial proceedings, may require witnesses to appear in court. Process servers must adhere to all applicable local, state, and federal regulations when serving legal documents.

In Illinois, becoming a process server does not need a license. There is no statewide licensing statute in Illinois at present. The original process may be served by a ‘private detective’ licensed in Illinois in any county, except Cook County, which requires a special appointment.

An organization rather than an individual process server may be appointed by the court to make the first delivery of legal documents in Cook County. However, upon motion, the court may designate someone above the age of eighteen to serve the original process.

BACKGROUND

Private investigators may serve legal documents in any county in Illinois apart from Cook County. Private investigators are needed to serve legal documents in Cook County.. The sheriff of the appropriate county in the State, or in the absence of a sheriff, the coroner, must serve the summons. When serving legal documents, a sheriff in a county with a population of less than two million may use non-sworn staff. 

A private investigator or licensed employee must provide a copy of their license or certificate to the sheriff of every county in which they serve process. However, the failure to provide the copy shall not affect the legitimacy of the process served by the investigator or licensed employee. Service may be made by a private citizen who is at least eighteen years old and is not a party to the case at the court’s discretion. However, it is not required that the sheriff or coroner of the county where service is performed make the delivery. A sheriff or coroner who serves or attempts to serve must endorse their return on the document, whereas a private citizen must use an affidavit to prove that service was made.

Although there is no statewide licensing legislation in Illinois, a ‘private detective’ licensed in Illinois may serve the original process in any county in the state except Cook County. In Cook County, a ‘private detective agency may be appointed as a special process server in place of a person upon motion and at the court’s discretion. In most jurisdictions, service does not have to be done by a sheriff or PI. 

We use Illinois-based process servers to ensure prompt, reliable, and secure service of process at three different tiers across the state. The first attempt by the Process Server will be made within the Routine Service time frame of five to seven business days. If the request is a Rush Process Service request, the first attempt will be made within forty-eight hours. If you prefer service by mail, mail service will be done within twenty-four hours. 

Every kind of service (Routine, Rush, and Same-Day) begins with an Illinois process server making up to three (3) efforts to deliver the legal documents, with the only variable being the timeframe of the attempts. We make sure due diligence requirements are adequately fulfilled wherein we attempt in the morning, afternoon as well as evening in the requisite location. 

WHAT DOES A PROCESS SERVER DO 

The sheriff of the appropriate county in the State, or in the absence of a sheriff, the coroner, must serve the summons. In counties with a population of less than two million, the process may be served without an appointment by a private detective who is licensed or registered as a private detective under the Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security, and Locksmith Act of 2004 or by a registered employee of a private detective agency certified under that Act.

 A private investigator or licensed employee must provide a copy of their license or certificate to the sheriff of every county in which they serve process. Service may be made by a private citizen who is at least 18 years old and is not a party to the case, at the court’s discretion.  A sheriff or coroner who serves or attempts to serve must endorse his or her return on the document, whereas a private citizen must use an affidavit to prove that service was made. It is preferable to use a private process-serving agency like Undisputed Legal. Since we are a private process service agency, our focus is only on the service of process rather than the many other duties that a sheriff’s office usually comprises. Additionally, we serve process every day of the week, complying with due diligence, whereas the sheriff’s office process service deadlines are much more difficult to follow up on. 

The defendants may be served with summonses by any person authorized to serve the process in the State, regardless of where the defendants may be physically located within the State. The officer must serve legal processes outside their county, but the officer’s county has no jurisdiction over the mileage expenses associated with such service. The individual served in a distant country may return home through the postal service.

Service of summons upon an individual defendant shall be made by leaving a copy of the summons with the defendant personally, leaving a copy at the defendant’s usual place of abode with some member of the family or a person residing there, thirteen years of age or older, and informing that person of the contents of the summons; provided that the officer or other person doing service shall also send a copy of the summons in a sealed envelope. 

Anyone making a false statement on the certificate or affidavit may be held in civil contempt of court. 

OUT-OF-STATE SERVICE IN ILLINOIS

Anyone located outside of the State may be served personally by Undisputed Legal. The service of the process herein must be deemed equivalent to service personally inside Illinois upon a citizen or resident or upon a person who has surrendered to the jurisdiction of the courts of this State; otherwise, it shall be deemed equivalent to service by publication. Licensed, educated, and bonded process servers in Illinois are the only ones authorized to serve legal papers in the state. Here at Undisputed Legal, Inc., we make it our mission to track down and serve fugitive defendants and witnesses with legal documents. 

Any adult who is not a party to the action and who is at least eighteen years old may serve a summons in the same way it would be served inside this state. The server must swear to the time, method, and location of service in an affidavit. In evaluating whether service has been properly made, the court may examine the affidavit or other adequate evidence.

After thirty calendar days have passed since service, a default will be inserted. The only way to overturn a default judgment obtained via such service is to provide evidence that would have been required to vacate a default judgment obtained by personal service within this state within the applicable time frame and suffice to do so. 

UNDERSTANDING JURISDICTION IN ILLINOIS

Personal service of a summons on a defendant who resides outside of Illinois but is subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of this State is as effective as if the summons had been delivered inside this State. Any person subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of this State in any action based upon product liability may be served with a copy of the summons and the complaint by delivering a copy to the Secretary of State, who will then forward it to the person at his or her foreign residence or place of business. A USD 5 fee made out to the Secretary of State must be included with the summons. 

The plaintiff must immediately serve the defendant by mailing a copy of the summons and complaint to the defendant at their last known address. The summons must clearly state the date of serving upon the Secretary. To satisfy the requirements, the plaintiff must submit to the circuit clerk an affidavit signed by the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney, which includes the defendant’s last known place of residence or business address and a certificate of mailing a copy of the summons and complaint to the defendant at such address. This is often difficult for the plaintiff to keep track of. Consequently, Undisputed Legal provides fast and dependable service so that there is no hassle for our clients. We also involve our clients in every step of this process, providing affidavits of service generated by global positioning systems and email updates sent to you personally in ‘real time’ Before mailing, we provide an electronic copy of the affidavit to our clients, so they are given real-time status updates as to their service. Additionally, new customers get a free basic skip trace. 

People often go to great lengths to avoid being served with court papers. The need for a competent process server becomes clear in this light. It is important to note that the laws governing service of process vary from one state to the next.  Those who claim to be able to act as process servers in Illinois should be qualified professionals with valid licenses. These are helpful because they facilitate the servicing of processes rapidly and efficiently.

Serving legal documents in a metropolis of over two million requires a qualified organization staffed by licensed personnel. After serving legal papers, all servers must complete an affidavit on the back detailing their service. 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 other legal documents may be served by our Illinois process servers. We are an Illinois-based process-serving organization that assists federal, state, and local governments and private legal entities.

Since the start of 2018, the state of Illinois has mandated the use of electronic filings. This refers to submitting legal documents to the courthouse over the Internet rather than in person. Because of this, the summoning process might be altered. This is a specific requirement for Illinois, and our team of licensed Illinois servers is adept at handling these requirements.

The plaintiff’s case and rights may suffer if the summons is delivered improperly. Until the defendant has been served with the legal papers, no further proceedings can be undertaken.

OUR PROCESS

Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed to ps@undisputedlegal.com or uploaded to our website. We do require prepayment 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 receives 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| MonacoMontenegro | 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| UkraineUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland | Uruguay | US Virgin Islands | Uzbekistan | Venezuela | Vietnam

OFFICE LOCATIONS

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 Illinois

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 Illinois 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.

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives”– Foster, William A

Sources

1. Those who are licensed or registered as private detectives under the Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security, and Locksmith Act of 2004 or who are employees of private detective agencies certified under that Act may serve the process without a special appointment in counties with populations of less than 2,000,000.

2. The willful resistance or obstruction of the lawful service or execution of any civil or criminal process or order of any court is a Class B misdemeanor under Illinois Civil Procedure Note. [Section 31-3. Obstructing service of process] [Illinois Compiled Statutes: Criminal Offenses, Criminal Cod of 1961. (720 ILCS 5/31-3)]

3. Illinois statute permitting process to be served ‘either by a sheriff or by a disinterested person appointed by the court’ did not require the appointment of a process server by the Illinois court. 683 So.2d 595 (Takiff v. Takiff) (1996).

4. However, the failure to provide the copy shall not affect the legitimacy of the process served by the investigator or licensed employee

5. Personal service out of state is authorized under 735 ILCS 5/2-208.

6. In certain instances, it may be appropriate to publish anything in the newspaper. If the defendant has skipped town, is avoiding service or has no known whereabouts, these are all valid excuses for non-service of process. All identifying information, including names, addresses, and case numbers, will be published publicly. One weekly installment for the next three weeks is mandatory. This document is also sent to the defendant at his or her last known address.

7. If the plaintiff or their attorney mails the defendant a copy of the summons and complaint, the certificate of mailing will suffice as prima facie evidence that the defendant received the documents. The day the summons is served on the Secretary is the dating service is considered to have been made on the defendant, and the summons has the same force and effect as if it had been served upon the defendant physically inside this State.

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The information contained herein has been prepared in compliance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Fair use is a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works. The articles/Images contained herein serve as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, educational, and research-as examples of activities that qualify as fair use. Undisputed Legal Inc. is a Process Service Agency and “Not A Law Firm” therefore the articles/images contained herein are for educational purposes only, and not intended as legal advice.