Why is a Process Server Calling Me?
One moment you’re going about your regular activities, the next minute, it seems your life is turning upside down because you’ve just received a call from a process server. You start wondering ‘Why me?’ ‘Why am I being served papers?’ ‘What does a process server want?’
Anyone can be in this situation, and you never can tell when it will happen. In this article, we’ll talk about reasons why you may receive calls from process servers. We would also talk about what you should do when you receive a call from process servers.
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We not only provide you with information about process servers, but we also back it up with expertise and experience. We are dedicated to ensuring that you’re well-informed whenever you are in a legal situation. Reach out to us now to start your consultation!
Understanding the Role of a Process Server
Who are process servers?
Process servers are people who help deliver legal papers to all parties involved in a court case. They usually operate behind the scenes to ensure that justice is served in the local court.
These court documents could be subpoenas, complaints, summons, notices, etc. Process servers ensure that people are aware of their involvement in a legal proceeding.
Core Responsibilities of Process Servers
They carry out responsibilities like:
Document delivery: From defendants to witnesses, and all individuals involved in a court case, process servers are tasked with document delivery to these people.
Identity Verification: It would be a disaster if court documents are delivered to the wrong people. Process servers ensure to verify the identity of the recipients also. It helps to maintain the integrity of the legal process.
Record Keeping: Process servers are also tasked with documentation. They keep records of the documents delivered. They ensure to record each service of process, the date, time, and manner of delivery. All these come in handy as crucial evidence.
They are an important part of the judicial system as they ensure due process is followed. They also help in preventing delay in legal proceedings.
Common Reasons for Contact by a Process Server
Some reasons why a process server may contact you are:
Delivery of Legal Documents
The people act as messengers of the law. You will get a call from them when they have to deliver formal notifications. Some of these documents may include:
Subpoenas: By delivering a subpoena to you, they are letting you know that you are compelled to testify as a witness to a case. Or, it could be that you have to produce some documents relevant to the legal proceeding.
Notices: They deliver notices related to court hearings, motions, court orders, etc. The aim is for everyone involved to be carried along.
Summons: This sort of document lets you know that a legal action has been initiated against you. It gives you details on the case and the necessary steps for response.
Involvement in a Legal Case
They let you know how you are involved in a legal case. You could be involved in two ways:
As a party: Being a party to a case means you could be the plaintiff or defendant. Either way, a process server would contact you to deliver documents that make you aware of the next and necessary steps to take to protect your rights.
As a witness: In this case, the court document you are getting is a subpoena. It lets you know the crucial role you play in the case.
You will get a phone calls from a process server when there is a case of mistaken identity. Mistaken identity occurs when:
There are similar names or addresses: There could be a situation where the intended recipient has a similar name or address to another person. Thus, process servers may call for verification.
Outdated Information: Changes in residence or contact details may not always be immediately updated in the process server’s records. Thus, there may be cases of contacting the wrong people.
Incomplete Information: Process servers may make errors and call you when the information they have is incomplete.
How to Verify the Identity of a Process Server
Unfortunately, process server scams are becoming more prevalent. These scammers call people, get vital information from them, and use the information for a phishing scam.
Here are helpful ways to verify the identity of a process server:
Ask for identification: Legitimate process servers should willingly provide identification upon request. It would be helpful to take note of the person’s name, contact information, and the company they represent.
Verify company information: You can take a further step to verify by checking out the company information or local court’s website. Do your background check and also check what people are saying about them.
Contact the court: If you’ve received legal papers. Contact the local court directly to confirm that the case exists. Courts usually have records of legal action.
What to Do If You Suspect a Scam or Impersonation
Once you feel that things are not right or out of place, here’s what to do:
Do not give out personal information: A real process server would not ask for sensitive personal information beyond what is necessary for the legal office.
Report to the authorities: If you believe you are a victim of a phishing scam, report the incident to the local law enforcement agency immediately. Ensure to provide the police officer with as much information as possible. It should include the name of the process server, company they claim to represent, etc.
Document the encounter: It is helpful to keep a detailed record of the encounter, including date, time, and any other relevant information.
Consult with an attorney: Seek legal advice immediately if you suspect a process server scam. A lawyer can guide you on the appropriate steps to take and help protect your rights in the legal process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do they call you before they server you?
Yes, you will get a phone call from a process server before delivery of the documents. It is to alert you of what they are about to do before coming to your space.
What hours can a process server serve you in California?
To respect your time and space, they are to serve papers between 6am and 10pm PST.
Can someone else accept served papers in California?
Yes, someone else can accept served papers on your behalf in California. However, the person must be over 18 years old and must not be related to the case.
Getting a phone call from a process server may seem like a plot twist, but it isn’t the end of the world. Now you know why they may be calling, and what to do if you suspect that it’s a phony process server.
Remember, you do not need to walk alone when navigating the legal landscape. At On-Call Legal, we are here to be your legal partners. It is why we stay empowering you with information to keep you updated. Reach out to us now!