Skip to main content

How to Hire a Process Server: Complete Guide

July 26, 2023

Wondering how to hire a process server? You came to the right place! Process servers are professionals who deliver court documents to the relevant parties, ensuring due process is followed.

In this guide, we provide a comprehensive step-by-step process on hiring a competent process server, with a particular focus on hiring professional process servers in California.

Brief Overview

Finding a great process server is should be an easy and positive experience. That is, of course, if you know what to look for.

Whether you need to serve divorce papers or other important court documents, the competency of your process server can make or break your case.

The process (which we’ll dive into much more detail below) includes identifying professional process servers with the right experience and credentials, assessing the server’s reputation through reviews and testimonials, understanding the cost of hiring a process server, determining service guarantees, scrutinizing the server’s technological proficiency, and highlighting the importance of regular communication.

By following these steps, you can ensure the person you hire meets the highest quality standards, enhancing the efficacy and efficiency of your service.

Step 1: Identifying Qualified Process Servers

Understanding the Role of a Process Server

A process server is a professional who delivers court documents such as subpoenas, writs, and summons to individuals involved/corporations in a legal proceeding. The role of the process server is ensure successful delivery of these documents while upholding the legal process to ensure all parties receive due notice.

Checking Experience and Credentials

When choosing a process server, their experience and credentials should be one of your primary considerations. An experienced server will understand the most important tricks of the trade when serving legal documents and can navigate potential challenges, such as defendants avoiding service.

As you vet potential process servers, you’ll want to ask about about their experience in the field, the types of cases they have handled, and their familiarity with serving the particular court documents relevant to your case. For example, our firm On-Call Legal has over a decade of experience and a 99% success rate serving legal documents. You can confirm credentials by asking for any professional certifications or licenses.

Verifying Professional Affiliations

Memberships in professional organizations such as the National Association of Professional Process Servers (NAPPS) often indicate a process server’s commitment to industry standards, continuing education, and adherence to a code of ethics. These associations offer resources and support to their members, thereby ensuring they are well-equipped to perform their tasks proficiently.

Step 2: Scrutinizing the Process Server’s Reputation

Evaluating Reviews and Testimonials

The process server’s reputation can provide insight into their reliability, professionalism, and efficacy. Look for reviews on their website, social media profiles, and online directories. Note whether past clients found them to be efficient in serving papers, whether they practiced due diligence, and if they exhibited professionalism in their conduct.

Asking for References

Another way to scrutinize a process server’s reputation is by asking for references from past clients or legal professionals they’ve worked with. This step can provide direct insight into their working style, dependability, and communication skills.

Step 3: Understanding the Cost

Asking for a Detailed Breakdown of Costs

Prices among process servers can vary significantly. To understand what you’re paying for, ask for a detailed breakdown of the costs. This breakdown should include the cost of attempts to serve papers, travel expenses, and any additional services like filing court documents or skip tracing.

Evaluating the Cost-Effectiveness

While it may be tempting to go with the least expensive option, remember that in the legal system, the stakes are high. A missed deadline or improperly served document can have significant repercussions, so it’s essential to ensure you’re hiring a competent process server.

Step 4: Inquiring About Service Guarantees

Understanding the Process Server’s Approach

While no process server can guarantee 100% success due to variables beyond their control, they should be able to assure you of their commitment to due diligence. Ask how many attempts they are willing to make to serve the documents and what strategies they have in place if the initial attempts are unsuccessful.

Compliance with Legal Regulations

A competent process server will comply with all state and local laws regarding service of process. They should also be aware of the local rules, regulations, and court procedures in their jurisdiction. Confirm that they abide by these laws to ensure the legal validity of your service of process.

Step 5: Assessing Technological Proficiency

Checking for Use of Modern Technologies

Process servers who leverage technology can often provide more efficient and transparent service. Look for process servers who use digital tools for document management, case tracking, and real-time updates.

Evaluating Communication Channels

It’s essential for your process server to provide regular updates about the status of your service of process. Find out how they plan to communicate these updates – be it through email, text messages, or phone calls.

Step 6: Emphasizing Communication

Clear & Transparent Communication

Regular updates are crucial when working with a process server. A professional process server will keep their clients informed about the progress of the case, provide timely proof of service, and be available to answer any questions or address concerns.

Are They Responsive?

During your initial interactions, take note of the process server’s responsiveness. This is usually a good indication of the level of communication you can expect during the process.

By following these detailed steps, you can ensure you hire a competent process server who will uphold the highest quality of service and help streamline your legal proceedings.

How Much Does a Process Server Cost?

The cost of hiring a professional process server in California can vary based on several factors, including the type of service, location, and number of serving attempts required. On average, you can expect to pay between $65 and $95 for a standard process service in this state. This service generally includes attempts to serve process within a span of three days. However, the fees could escalate if there’s a need for expedited service or if the service needs to be carried out in a rural or hard-to-reach location.

The national average, on the other hand, typically hovers between $55 to $85. When choosing a process server, it is advisable to compare the prices, response times, and number of attempts included under the flat fee of different service providers in your area.

There might be additional costs if an individual proves to be elusive and needs to be located, or in the case of ‘skip tracing.’ It’s also worth noting that some process servers might charge extra for administrative services such as processing court records, mileage, parking, postage, photocopying, and affidavit processing.

If your case requires more specific services, such as multiple attempts, rush service, same-day service attempt, serving more than one party, or handling search warrants and court filings, the fees could be higher.

Taking The Leap

Whether you are dealing with small claims, divorce papers, subpoenas, or evictions, the importance of proper and timely service of process cannot be overstated. Regardless of where in the nation your legal requirements emerge, On-Call Legal is ready to serve with a commitment to professionalism, reliability, and adherence to legal regulations. Don’t leave such a pivotal part of your legal process to chance. Contact On-Call Legal today for exceptional nationwide service of process, and rest easy knowing your legal needs are in expert hands. Remember, the right process server is just a call away!

On-demand legal services with arranging services from eFiling to organizing and preparing your subpoena for records and/or personal appearance and much more.