9 Ways to Know You Can Trust Your Process Serving Company
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. – Warren Buffett
Serving legal documents can be a challenging task. You won’t find many recipients eager to accept documents like trial subpoenas, divorce papers, and landlord & tenant actions. Moreover, each state has its own set of unique rules governing appropriate service of process, some of which are quite strict. Failure to follow these guidelines could deem the service improper or ineffective – and stop a case dead in its tracks before even being litigated on its merits. This is why hiring a smart process serving company is key; one that ensures the proper procedures are taken so your cases effectively move forward.
But - not all process serving companies are created equal!
When serving an individual, there are some process servers who don’t make every effort to complete due diligence (multiple attempts at different times of the day/days of the week). Some process servers claim proper service when in fact the papers were not served OR not served pursuant to requisite statutes. While a plaintiff isn’t liable for this kind of fraud (the process serving company and server are held responsible and should carry errors and omissions insurance for that very purpose), it can not only delay a case but sometimes a case can be dismissed entirely if undue process can be proven by the recipient.
Because process serving companies have a crucial job, you need to work with one you can trust. One who:
• Knows the relevant statutes and court procedures and case law (keeps abreast of all changes)
• Provides timely service (untimely service risks case being dismissed)
• Is responsive (Does your process serving company promptly answer your calls and emails?)
• Provides quality service (Are the servers properly trained, licensed and bonded?)
• Utilizes up-to-date technology (online case tracking access, GPS technology with coordinates and photograph of location served, databases for skip tracing, etc.)
• Communicates (provides email confirmation of receipt of document, service issues and upon completion of service)
• Is transparent and accountable (Does your process serving company admit to mistakes/oversights, or take ownership when called for?)
• Has decades of experience (your service documents are too important to be trusted to a company just entering the industry)
• Treats all clients, big and small, as important (Do you feel important and listened to by your process serving company? Does your process serving company take the time to understand and solve your particular problems?)
If your process server meets all the above criteria, then consider them a trustable company!
Trust is an important asset. You can’t buy it. Nor can it be imposed. It’s something you earn, and it develops over time. Business works better when there’s trust. It’s the foundation for any successful ongoing relationship.
Trust is like blood pressure. It's silent, vital to good health, and if abused it can be deadly. --Frank Sonnenberg, author of Follow Your Conscience