Tips for Spotting a Fake Process Server
Using a credible process server to serve process in North and South Carolina is essential. Only process servers who meet each state’s process server requirements may serve legal process in that state. If you accidentally use an unqualified server, any work they do for your case will be invalid, resulting in delays, extra costs, and possibly dismissal of the entire case.
To avoid service of process problems, you should ask the following questions to spot unqualified process servers:
Does the Process Server Meet the State’s Requirements?
All private process servers in North and South Carolina must meet the minimum requirements set forth by each state. Meeting these requirements allows the process server to serve in North Carolina, South Carolina, or both, but not necessarily in other states. Jurisdiction is crucial when serving process, so ensure that you’re using a server legally allowed to serve process where you need it. For process servers authorized to work in both North and South Carolina, check out Accurate Serve® of Charlotte.
For service inside the state of NC, any private process server must:
- Be “duly authorized by law” to serve a summons
- Be 18 or older and not a party to the case being served to serve a subpoena
For out of state service, the private process server must:
- Be at least 21 years old and not a party to the case being served – or –
- Be someone authorized to serve process under the state’s law where service is being made
For service of a summons in SC, a private process server must:
- Be 18 or older
- Not be an attorney for the case being served
- Not be a party to the case being served
For service of subpoenas in SC, a private process server must:
- Be anyone over 18 years old
- Not be a party to the case being served
For all other types of process excluding summons and subpoenas, the private process server must meet the same requirements above to serve summons and also be authorized by the court before service is allowed.
For service outside of the state of SC, the rules governing process servers in the state where service is being made must be followed.
If a potential process server in North or South Carolina cannot provide proof of meeting these basic requirements, move on to the next candidate. You should practice due diligence to verify any claims made by the server about their age, involvement in the case, or any other factors that may affect the outcome.
Do They Know the Laws?
Reputable process servers in North and South Carolina will know all about the laws that relate to serving process in the areas where they work. Private process servers are responsible for knowing all of the laws that relate to service of process in the Carolinas, including:
- Process must be served in-person unless service by substitution or publication is permitted by a judge
- Process servers must not lie about their identity
- Process servers must not give process recipients advice about their legal cases
- Process servers must not engage in illegal activities to serve process, such as breaking and entering, trespassing, or making threats
Working with an unqualified or incompetent process server can give the defendant grounds to reschedule court dates, suppress evidence, or even get the case dismissed. If a potential process server in North or South Carolina doesn’t seem to know the basic laws, move on to the next candidate.
Do Their References Check Out?
Ask any process server that you intend to hire for professional references from former employers and clients. Inability to produce any references from a server who claims to be experienced is a red flag. Satisfied prior customers should have no problem giving the server a recommendation, nor should a previous employer with which the server left on good terms.
The Best Process Servers in the Carolinas
If you’re looking for a legitimate process server in North or South Carolina, consider Accurate Serve® of Charlotte. All of our servers are rigorously vetted, so only the best join our team. We have been helping attorneys get their jobs done faster since our 2009 beginnings in Florida and have quickly risen to become one of the Queen City’s premier process service agencies. Check out our reviews, then call us at 704-858-2952 or send us a work request online to start working with us today. If you are located outside of the Charlotte area, visit theaccurateservefranchise.com to find your local office.