For The Love of Process Serving
As a process server and business owner I’ve learned a lot about how folks view process servers. I see a popular perspective when I look through the eyes of the “slightly green” process server. Ask a new process server what the attraction was for entering his field and he might say: It is “easy money”, or “an easy side job”. Soon enough, everyone gets a reality check. Process servers who are successful tend to have a passion for process serving.
But why isn’t process serving easy? After all, isn’t a process server a glorified messenger? All he has to do is grab the paper, drive to the destination, and deliver it to the subject. Then he collects the cash. Correct? The misperception that process serving is easy is the challenge when it comes time to explain the fee structure or that time intensive attempts might be necessary.
There are essential skills for serving legal papers successfully. A process server must be patient, organized, professional, dedicated, and possess good intuition. He must be aware of and learn how to mitigate the risk of danger. The serve must take place around the subject’s availability rather than a convenient schedule. Above all, the process server must be capable of relentlessly pursuing the subject until that subject has been served. The words: dogged, stubborn, and tenacious come to mind. It is true that not every serve is difficult, but the trick is turning an inherently difficult serve into an effective one. Sometimes this requires thinking “outside the box” or creative process serving.
It is true that the mechanics of process serving are straight forward. Anyone can knock on a door and ring a bell, but it takes good judgment to know when to keep going or call it a day. A good process server would know what time of the day and week are best for serving papers. A good process server knows what questions and information to obtain from the client. A good process server is capable of giving each serve the attention and time that is required, while staying mindful of deadlines and volume. A good process server will consider whether the house is dark because no one is home, or because that is what the subject wants us to think.
Written by Ari of the Orange County Professional Servers
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