(704) 858-2952

What May Happen if You Avoid a Process Server

If you know that a process server is searching for you because someone has filed a lawsuit against you, you may be tempted to try to avoid the process server to delay the case. Hollywood does a good job of making this seem like a feasible tactic. However, this never works out in real life. No matter how much effort you put into avoiding the process server, they will eventually serve you with those court documents, even if you never see them in person. Once you’re considered “served” in the eyes of the law, even if by alternative service, the case against you can legally proceed.

Just a few of the possible consequences of avoiding a process server include:

Default Judgment for the Plaintiff

Once the court where your case is being filed has determined that you were properly served, your case will be heard on the scheduled date and time. You are required to appear for this court date, no matter what your feelings are about the validity of the case. So if you avoid the process server to the point that they are awarded alternative service (such as service by substitution or service by publication) and you then fail to show up for the scheduled court date, the plaintiff in the case will likely be awarded a default judgment. That means they will get everything they have claimed against you in the case! There aren’t many scenarios worse than this, so if you have any interest in defending yourself and your assets, we suggest you meet with the process server, graciously accept the documents, and be on time and prepared for your court date.

Extra Costs

There are so many extra costs that start piling up when you avoid the process server. Each service attempt by a process server brings an extra charge, filing for alternative service because the process server cannot locate you costs even more, and court and attorney fees from having to reschedule court dates can balloon quickly. Guess who will end up paying all those extra fees if the judge feels like you were intentionally avoiding service? You! Yes, that means you may even end up paying the plaintiff’s attorney fees in addition to whatever judgment they are awarded. Do your wallet a favor and keep those costs as low as possible by cooperating with the process server from the beginning.

Contempt of Court Charges

Think wasting the court’s time and resources by making a process server chase you around is no big deal? Think again. Some judges feel so strongly about litigants that play cat-and-mouse with process servers that they’ve doled out criminal contempt charges to go along with default judgments or extra court costs. Those charges could land you in jail or on probation, adding more to the expense of the whole ordeal, plus they’ll be on your record forever unless you pay for expungement. We seriously doubt that the case you’re trying to avoid is worth all these repercussions.

Reputation Damage

Make no mistake…when you’re avoiding a process server, word gets around. Mostly because the process server will pull out all the stops when trying to locate you, including contacting your friends, family, and even employer! This can do irreparable harm to your personal and professional reputation, from which you may never recover.

The Best Process Servers in the Queen City

If you choose to avoid the process server and ignore the case entirely, the costs and consequences will add up quickly. If you get a call from one of the servers here at Accurate Serve® of Charlotte, your best bet is to just bite the bullet and set up a meeting to receive the process. No matter what you try, we will either locate you for service or serve you via alternative means, so your case will ultimately be heard whether you participate or not.

Need to speak with us about being served or serving someone in a case you’ve filed? Just give us a call at 704-858-2952 today!