WHAT DO PROCESS SERVERS IN MISSISSIPPI DO

This article will provide guidance on What Due Process Servers in Mississippi Do?  Simply put, your process server is important if you want legal documents to be delivered safely and quickly. When you retain their services, a Mississippi process server will deliver the papers to the defendant at their residence or place of employment. Additionally, lawyers and judges may hire process servers to deliver official court papers to them. A process server becomes very necessary if you need service to be executed in a specific manner. Click here to watch our introduction video.

Our Undisputed Legal process servers are helpful in serving summons in legal documents, including summons, complaints, divorce papers, family court documents, subpoenas, small claims court cases, and eviction cases.  Engaging the services of a process server is a crucial component of every case because of the legal need for the appropriate and timely service of papers. You will likely need a Mississippi process server to serve someone with legal papers. Our Undisputed Legal process servers are local to Mississippi and highly familiar with the laws of the area. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

What Is the Role of the Process Server?

So why even involve a private process server in Mississippi? While Mississippi does not require its process servers to be licensed, there are strict rules that process servers still have to adhere to. Further, the Mississippi Association of Professional Process Servers exists to uphold the standards of process service. Principles of professionalism and ethics should be the hallmark of the process server you are involved in, and our Undisputed Legal process servers strive to guarantee this. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.

Our process servers are familiar with the laws and regulations governing civil procedure in Mississippi. It is vital to the lawsuit for clients to retain the services of an expert process server who will give your case the attention it deserves. This is in no small part due to the complexity of Mississippi’s civil procedure regulations.

Before you hire a process server in Mississippi, it is essential for you to make sure they meet all of the requirements. The defendant may get many visits from the server. Finding a patient and pleasant server is essential because of the tension this might cause. The server is required by law to record the defendant’s refusal to sign the documents. Legal proceedings may make use of this material. A good process server is painstaking and detail-oriented in serving your papers.

It is always preferable to look for a meticulous server that will do whatever it takes to get the task done. Clients should verify that the server they are considering is well-versed in the state regulations. This will make it more likely that the server will accomplish service correctly.  Our Undisputed Legal process servers will always have your back: we make sure that your documents are taken care of.  Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

process Service In the Federal Court of Mississippi

Service procedures at Mississippi’s federal court are comparable to those in the state’s lower courts. The majority of state procedures mirror federal ones, and state regulations are based on federal structures. 

Not all service procedures are the same. For instance, according to the federal norm, defendants who are competent adults must be personally served or have copies left at their habitual residence with an adult who can be trusted to keep them. If personal delivery fails, the state regulation permits home service, but it imposes further criteria on the mechanics of resident service. The federal court clerk will first issue a summons, just the same as they would in state court. The next step is for the plaintiff to make arrangements for the complaint and summons to be served. A federal marshal will only serve process in certain situations, such as those in which the government is the plaintiff.

 A private process server like those at Undisputed Legal often walks the line between different legal structures in the same jurisdiction. Involving a private process service agency thus becomes vital for complete service in Mississippi. Click here for information on How To Identify A Good Process Service Agency.

A process server understands the jurisdiction of a case. 

The mechanics of process service must be followed precisely. It is important to ensure that courts have the authority to hear cases involving the party in question (either by statute, common law, or constitutional provisions.) The court’s efforts to exercise this authority must not infringe upon the party’s right to due process.

 A defendant’s relationship to the forum is necessary for due process. The defendant must have a connection to the forum state in order for due process to be satisfied. In some instances, courts are allowed under due process to exercise personal jurisdiction over defendants for any claims. This category includes naturalized residents of the state and businesses that have established a permanent presence in the state via incorporation or made the state their primary location of operation. A good process server in Mississippi will make sure that your papers are meant to be served in the jurisdiction of the state.

The clerk of the court is required to issue a summons immediately upon receipt of the complaint. The clerk is required to serve the plaintiff or plaintiff’s counsel with the summons upon written request from the plaintiff or plaintiff’s counsel. The summons must be delivered to the sheriff of the county where the defendant is located or lives Judgement by default will be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint if they fail to appear and defend within the time specified. Consequently, a process server’s role becomes one of paramount importance. 

 The summons must be signed and dated by the clerk and be under the court’s seal. It must also contain the names of the parties and the court, the defendant’s address, and the name and address of any plaintiff’s attorney. In cases when there is more than one plaintiff or defendant, or even both, the summons might specify, instead of listing all parties, the first party on either side and their name and address unless the party to be served is served by publication.

So, How is process Service done in Mississippi?

Any person who is not a party and who is at least eighteen years old may serve a summons and complaint.  However, this is not recommended. A layperson is not usually aware of the requirements for service. If the service is rejected, new service methods must be undertaken. A private process server like those at Undisputed Legal is radically more reliable and can give detailed updates on your case. A sheriff is a viable alternative for process service, although the workload upon the office of the sheriff can often mean that some documents can go by the wayside.

Upon written request from the party requesting service or their counsel, a sheriff of the county where the defendant lives is authorized to serve the summons and complaint. The date of receipt must be marked on all summonses by the sheriff, and within thirty days after that date, the sheriff must return the summonses to the clerk of the court from whence they were issued. 

All individuals can be served with a copy of the complaint and summons (sent via first-class mail, postage prepaid), two copies of a notice and acknowledgment that closely resemble Form 1-B and a postage-prepaid return envelope that should be addressed to the sender. The court will direct the person served to pay for personal service expenses if they do not return the completed form within twenty days of receiving the summons and notice. Our Undisputed Legal process servers make sure that your papers are delivered well within your deadlines. All our clients in Mississippi have access to our expert legal process servers. We provide three (3) different levels of process service in Mississippi wherein we offer [A.] Routine service, where the process server makes its first attempt at service within five to seven days, and [B.] Rush service, where the process server makes their first attempt at service within forty-eight hours. We also offer delivery by mail, where your documents are sent within one business day, and Same-Day service!

Each of the two service tiers, Routine and Rush, differs solely in the time of day it begins; all three tiers allow the Mississippi process server to make a maximum of three (3) attempts each day.  Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

How can Process Servers in Mississippi help with service by publication?

Summons and complaints must be acknowledged, and the notice must be signed under oath or affirmation. Alternatively, a filed affidavit can undertake service by publication or, if not to be found therein, on diligent inquiry. Upon filing the complaint or petition, account, or other commencement of a proceeding, the clerk will promptly prepare and publish a summons to the defendant to appear and defend the suit. The summons must adhere closely to the format specified in Form 1-C. 

A private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can help you stay updated with service by publication. Mississippi has much more stringent rules for publication than most states. The summons is required to be published once a week for three consecutive weeks in a public newspaper of the county where the case is pending if such a newspaper exists. Consequently, publication is a highly demanding mode of service, which a professional process service agency is equipped to do. Proof of the required publication must be submitted with the documents in the cause after publication.

If the defendant’s post office address is provided, the clerk is obligated to send a copy of the summons and complaint via first-class mail with postage prepaid to that address. Additionally, the clerk must record the issuance and mailing of the copy on the general docket since this will serve as proof that the defendant has received the summons. A private process service agency like Undisputed Legal provides you with a record of all services we undertake and can offer you more accountability than other forms of service.

How can a process server help in out-of-state service of papers

A person located outside of the state may be served via certified mail. This is in addition to any other methods of service specified in this rule. In cases where the defendant is an individual, the summons and complaint should be sent in an envelope marked ‘restricted delivery.’ If this mode of service is utilized, the date of delivery, as shown by either the return receipt or the returned envelope marked ‘Refused,’ will be considered the date of completion.  

Certified mail service is authorized by Rule 4(c)(5) and is limited to persons outside the state. The plaintiff must send a copy of the summons and complaint to the person to be served by certified mail, return receipt requested (they also mail by first-class mail, postage prepaid, a copy of the summons and complaint to the person to be served at the same address.) The Proof of Service will indicate the date on which the summons and complaint were mailed by first-class mail and must also include as an attachment the signed return receipt or the return envelope marked ‘refused.’ Service upon a foreign corporation, partnership, or unincorporated association is effective even if the certified mail is delivered to and signed for or refused by a person other than the addressee if the person accepting delivery and signing or refusing delivery is an officer or employee of the defendant who is authorized to receive or who regularly receives certified mail

Our Undisputed Legal process servers are local to Mississippi but have significant experience serving legal papers across the country. We can ensure that your papers adhere to the laws of the jurisdiction wherein service is being attempted.

process Service if a Defendant is Incapacitated

Service can be done to anyone who is not incompetent or a minor.  Service is done by physically serving them with a copy of the complaint and summons or giving them to an agent authorized to receive the process by appointment or law. Alternatively, service may be done by leaving a copy at the defendant’s usual residence with the defendant’s spouse or another adult relative of the defendant willing to receive service. Then, on the tenth day after mailing, a copy of the summons and complaint can be sent to the person who is to be served at the same place where a copy was left (first class mail, postage prepaid).

Upon an inmate of a state or local correctional facility within Mississippi, service by providing the inmate with a copy of the complaint and summons. The summons and complaint must be served upon an officer, managing or general agent, or any other agent authorized by appointment or law to receive process upon a domestic or foreign corporation, partnership, or another unincorporated association subject to suit under a common name.

Need for a proof of service

Without proof of service, the validity of the service is affected. The sender must file an acknowledgment with the court if service is made. The sender must file a return receipt or an envelope marked ‘Refused’ with the court. If service is made by someone other than a sheriff, the person serving the process must make an affidavit. The court will promptly receive the proof of service. If a defendant is not served with the summons and complaint within a hundred and twenty days, the court can dismiss the action against that defendant without prejudice, either on its initiative after notifying the party or upon motion. Summonses served by process servers should be substantially in conformity with Form 1A, and sheriffs’ summonses should be substantially in conformity with Form 1AA.

Legal documents are highly time-sensitive and confidential. For example, you must hire a process server to ensure that a spouse gets divorce papers. Parties run the risk of having the documents ignored if they try to serve papers on their own. Hiring a process server like those at Undisputed Legal eliminates this possibility. 

It is not just for a few matters. For a landlord, a squatting tenant can mean significant harm over time. Proper and timely service of documents by a process server is required by law. There are several instances when the server might provide evidence of paper delivery. If problems arise with the court, this could be useful. 

Parties must establish to the court that the defendant was served with the documents. Proof of receipt by the opposite party may be difficult to establish if the documents are served personally. However, at Undisputed Legal, we always keep you in the loop. We provide GPS affidavits of service so you know where your document has been served. We also include personalized ‘Real-Time’ email notifications on the progress of your case. We also email the affidavit of service to you so that you can rest assured that we will handle your documents well.  As a bonus, all new customers get a free basic skip trace.

It is always important to prepare a list of questions you want answered by a process server before you hire them. One thing you may want to know about a process server is how long they’ve been in the industry. Our Undisputed Legal process servers are highly experienced, and we have served papers across the world. Our goal is to serve your papers perfectly every time. 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.

OUR PROCESS

Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed to ps@undisputedlegal.com, or uploaded on 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, N.W. Suite 300, Washington DC 20004

FOR ASSISTANCE SERVING LEGAL PAPERS IN MISSISSIPPI

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 Mississippi 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. While the Fifth Amendment restricts the authority of federal courts, the Fourteenth Amendment imposes limitations on state courts; however, the Fourteenth Amendment indirectly restricts the authority of federal courts as well, since the jurisdictional reach of federal courts is, in most instances, attached to the reach of the state courts in the state where they are located. Fed. The case of R. Civ. (A) of section 4(k)(1).

2. Although M.R.C.P. 4(c)(3) is modeled after Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(d), defendants who execute and return the acknowledgment of service under M.R.C.P. 4(c)(3) acknowledge actual service, whereas defendants who execute and return the waiver under Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(d) are waiving service.

3. The process server’s summons must adhere closely to Form 1A, while the sheriff’s summons must adhere closely to Form 1AA.

4. The expenses incurred by the process server in serving the summons and complaint may be recovered from the court up to the limit set by statute for the sheriff’s service of process.

5. Serving the summons and complaint in any other way allowed is an option if the sender does not receive an acknowledgment of service within 20 days after mailing.

6. Under Rule 4(d)(1)(B), residence service is allowed, which means that a duplicate of the complaint and summons must be left at the defendant’s usual place of residence with the defendant’s spouse or another family member who is at least sixteen years old and willing to accept service. Subsequently, a duplicate of the complaint and summons must be mailed to the defendant at the same location where the complaint and summons were left.

7. Other conditions for paper publication include 

  1. the post office address of such defendant is stated in the complaint, petition, or affidavit, 
  2. if it be stated in such sworn complaint or petition that the post office address of the defendant is not known to the plaintiff or petitioner after diligent inquiry, or
  3. if the affidavit is made by another for the plaintiff or petitioner, such post office address is unknown to the affiant after diligent inquiry, and he believes it is unknown to the plaintiff or petitioner after diligent inquiry by the plaintiff or petitioner.

8. The plaintiff may ask the clerk to have the summons published in a certain newspaper at their cost, or the clerk can do so on their behalf.

9. Service of process is not effective under Rule 4(c)(5) if the mailing is returned marked ‘unclaimed/refused,’ ‘unclaimed’, or ‘undeliverable as addressed.’ Bloodgood v. Leatherwood, 25 So. 3d 1047 (Miss. 2010).

10.   Upon a mentally incompetent individual who is judicially confined in an institution for the mentally ill, the summons and complaint must be served on the incompetent as well as any guardian (of either the person or the estate), if any exists. However, if the superintendent of the institution or a similar official certifies that the incompetent cannot respond to the process, the need to serve the summons and complaint on the incompetent is waived. In cases where the confined incompetent does not have a guardian or conservator, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem to receive copies.

11. Rule 4(d) identifies the person to be served with process when the defendant is: 

  1. a mentally competent married infant or a mentally competent adult; 
  2. an unmarried infant; 
  3. a mentally incompetent person who is not judicially confined to an institution for the mentally ill or mentally deficient; 
  4. a mentally incompetent person who is judicially confined to an institution for the mentally ill or mentally deficient; 
  5. an individual confined to a penal institution of this state or a subdivision of this state; 
  6. a domestic or foreign corporation, partnership, or unincorporated association subject to a suit under a common name; 
  7. the State of Mississippi or one of its departments, officers, or institutions; 
  8. a county; 
  9. a municipal corporation; or 
  10. any other governing body

12. Fourth, Miss. R. Civ. P.

13. Forms 1A, 1AA, 1B, and 1C are provided as suggested forms for the various summonses. The summonses must contain the information required by Rule 4(b), which states that the defendant must be notified that, among other things, a failure to appear will result in a judgment by default. Though the language used to say ‘judgment by default will be rendered’ is strong, the intention is to encourage defendants to appear in order to protect their interests.

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