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What are the Rules Process Servers Must Follow?

Process servers play a critical role in the legal system, ensuring that individuals and entities receive notice of legal proceedings against them. As a process service agency serving both North Carolina and South Carolina, we understand more than most the importance of learning and following the rules and regulations governing process service. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the key rules all process servers must follow.

Serve in a Timely Manner

One of the most important rules for process servers is to serve legal documents in a timely manner. Process servers must deliver the documents to the intended recipient within a specified period, which varies by state and by the type of legal action being taken. For example, in North Carolina, a process server has 60 days to serve a defendant after receiving most types of documents. In South Carolina, the deadline is 30 days for most services.

Follow Proper Service Methods

Process servers must follow the proper service methods required by the court in which the case is being filed. These methods may include personal service, which involves handing the documents to the recipient, or substituted service, which involves leaving the documents with a responsible adult or posting them at the recipient’s home or place of business. Process servers must also follow any specific rules related to the type of legal action being taken. For example, serving divorce papers requires following specific guidelines that may differ from those for serving a summons or complaint.

Maintain Professionalism and Discretion

Process servers must maintain professionalism and discretion while serving legal documents. This means dressing appropriately, being respectful, and avoiding any actions that could be seen as harassment or intimidation. Remember – serving process is not an excuse to commit any crime, and all crimes committed by process servers while working may be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Process servers should also avoid discussing the legal matter with anyone other than the recipient and should refrain from disclosing any information about the case to unauthorized individuals.

Follow Local Laws and Regulations

Process servers must be familiar with the local laws and regulations governing process service in the areas where they work. In addition to the deadlines and service methods mentioned above, these laws may include rules related to the types of documents that can be served, the locations where service can occur, and the fees that can be charged for process service.

Keep Accurate Records

Process servers must keep accurate records of all service attempts, including the date, time, location, and method of service. This information will be provided to the court where the process originated as proof of service as well as being stored by the process server for several years. This documentation is critical in case there is any dispute regarding whether or not the documents were properly served. Process servers should also keep a detailed log of any communication with their client (usually the plaintiff) and the recipient (defendant or witness), including any responses to the legal documents.

Quality Service of Process in the Queen City

Process servers play an essential role in the legal system, and it’s critical that they follow the rules and regulations governing process service. This is especially true for our servers here at Accurate Serve® of Charlotte, as we work across both North and South Carolina and must adhere to the rules of each state, which can differ at times. By following these rules, process servers can ensure that the legal process proceeds smoothly and that justice is served for their clients. If you need process served in Charlotte or surroundings areas, contact us at 704-858-2952 or send us a work request online to get started today.