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What is Service of Process? 

United States legal procedure requires that each party in a case should be notified if actions are taken against them in a court of law. Process serving is an important aspect of the legal system.

People are notified of actions against them or court procedures involving them through the delivery of legal documents such as summons, complaints, subpoenas, orders, motions, writs, etc.


One type of service is called “substituted service”. This legal process of service is when the documents are served on a family member over the age of 14 who resides in the same household, or with a management level employee at their place of business. There are also circumstances when posting in a prominent place followed up by mailing a copy of the documents is an accepted method of service.


Do I need a Process Server?

Hiring a legal Process Server is an important step in proceeding with a court action. Process servers have the skills and experience to serve your legal documents in timely manner and, most importantly, serve them in accordance with the local and state process serving laws.


There are several key requirements associated with the rules of service of process. In some states you cannot serve on Sundays or holidays. Some places do not allow papers to be served on a person traveling to court. It is also very important to note that papers cannot be served by someone who is involved in the case or legal proceeding.


If a serve is not done in accordance with these rules, this can hinder your case from going forward or result in the dismissal of your case. Improper service may also cause undue delays which may affect court fees, and attorney’s fees.


If you are serious about your case, you want the papers to be served properly. Paying a professional process server a nominal fee can save your case.


Who can serve papers?

When service of process was first instituted, it was performed by sheriffs or deputies, and agents of the court. This became a burden on law enforcement, so the legislation was changed. Now, in many states, any US citizen that is not a party to the case, over the age of 18, and residing in the state where the matter is to be tried can serve papers.


Keep in mind that process serving laws differ from state to state and may change. It is important to refer to the State Rules of Civil Procedure to learn more about service of process in your state. At Cooke Process Service we ensure the highest rate of success by using a local, professional process server rather than the sheriff. Not all types of process service can be performed by a constable or indifferent person, in certain circumstances you may require a Connecticut State Marshal


What are the benefits of using a local process server?

By using a process server, you are dealing directly with the company who is going to be serving your papers. You will save time and money, and be able to communicate efficiently regarding your serves should you have questions regarding the status.


Additionally, all Cooke Process Service process servers are trained, courteous, professional, neatly attired and have at least one year of process serving experience.


Most importantly, by choosing Cooke Process Service process servers you have the peace of mind in knowing that your important legal matter is being handled by experienced professionals. 


What does a Process Server do? 

A process server delivers (serves) legal documents to the defendant, individual, or entity (corporation) listed on the legal document being served. Once the documents are delivered, an Affidavit of Service, also called a Proof of Service, is notarized and the original is given to the party who requested the service so it can be filed in court.


Does a Process Server need to be licensed?  

Not all states require a process server to be licensed. However, some states require that process servers be registered in their county or state, or appointed to serve in a specific county. 


What is an Affidavit of Service or Proof of Service? 

An Affidavit of Service, also called a Proof of Service, is a signed and often notarized document provided to you upon completion of serving your documents. Proof of Service states when, where, and who was served. There are a number of other affidavits that can be provided. For instance, an Affidavit of Due Diligence may be provided if the person to be served cannot be located.


Can you file the affidavit of service with the court? 

Yes, process servers routinely file affidavits of service and other legal documents with the court for an additional fee. 


Can papers be faxed or e-mailed?

In many cases you will be able to fax or e-mail papers to be served. You will need to find out if the original papers need to be served before determining how you will send the papers to Cooke Process Service to be served. 


How long does it take to get papers served?

Cooke Process Service offers several options to have your documents served. Turn around time will vary depending on which option you choose: Routine Service (3-5 days), Rush Service (1-3 days), Next Day Service and Same Day Service.


Where can a person be served? 

In most states, you can serve anyone anywhere at anytime. In some states, you cannot serve someone on Sundays, nor can you serve them when they are traveling to and from a court of law. Some states don’t allow service on holidays. It's important to know the laws in your state or consult with a professional process server to ensure effective service.


What if the person does not accept the papers?

In most cases the recipient does not have to accept service in order for it to be considered effective. If the defendant comes to the door but refuses the papers, the process server may leave the papers at their feet and walk away. It's important to refer to local service of process laws as they may vary from state to state.


What if the person cannot be found or is evasive?

If the named party in the documents cannot be found, the court may allow service by publication in a newspaper or by mail. Typically, the court may request that a reasonable attempt be made to actually serve the defendant or the person named before they grant permission to allow service by publication. This is why it is so important to hire a professional process server who is familiar with local rules and regulation.


In some states “Substitute Service” on a family member over the age of 14 who resides in the same household is acceptable. Substituted Service is not permitted in certain types of legal matters such as divorce petitions where the individual must be served personally.


Substituted Service should be done as the last resort and shown as part of the Due Diligence process. Please be sure to always refer to the rules of civil procedure in your state to make sure you are in compliance with local rules and regulations.

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