How to avoid process server mistakes. The law is clear on the fact that legal documents need to be handled right to avoid the case being disregarded. The burden of ensuring court documents are handled right fall on the shoulders of process servers.
A process server, by simple definition, is the person who delivers copies of court documents to parties relevant to a case. As it is with all law-related issues, there is are rules to be followed to ensure the successful service of these court documents.
How to avoid process server mistakes
The following are common mistakes done by process servers during the service of process:
1. Warning the defendant
One of the most common mistakes that can make process serving near impossible is warning the defendant that they are about to be served with court papers.
In most cases, you do not warn the defendant intentionally; it may come up in conversation, whether in a normal conversation or in confrontation or as a threat. What this does is arm the defendant with information of a tool they can use to make the case get thrown out. You see, as long as they are not served with court papers to notify them of the claim, the case can be dismissed.
They can therefore evade the process server by evading them, not showing up work or hiding while going to work, refusing to pick up calls, spamming mail and so on. If the process is not complete, then the court can dismiss the application based on concealing information from one party.
2. Serving the wrong person
Yes, it does happen. Your process server might deliver the documents to an individual with a similar name or a name similar to the respondent. In some cases, the documents get delivered to an outdated address or even to a deceased person,
Again, with a similar name. These scenarios happen. If this happens, it could put your case in serious trouble.
The opposing counsel gets room to contest the entire service which mounts pressure on the legal team to start the entire case over again. For the most part, the legal team gives in. in other cases, when this happens, you may have to give up something that you were previously awarded in their ruling. It is of paramount importance therefore that you ensure that the documents are delivered to the right living individual involved in the case.
Also, insist that the process server verifies whom they have served. They should fill an Affidavit of Service to show that the files landed in the right person’s hands.
3. Ill-prepared process server
You and your process server have to be in step. If you have any information that could help them serve the papers effectively and fast, arm them with it. It could be that you already know that the defendant will want to evade service, let your process server know. It could be that you know of a vacation location that they could run off to, let your process server know. You could also know of a common hang-out place that they could be found at, let your process server know.
These are some of the most common mistakes that if made, can injure or even cripple your case. Have more questions regarding process serving? Read more here
There are more articles on our website you may benefits from. Check out the links below:
- How Much Is A Process Server Worth?
- How Best To Serve Process Successfully
- Qualities of a Good Process Server
- What To Expect As A Paralegal
- Defining The Canadian Paralegal
- Services Offered By A Process Server
- Who Can Be A Paralegal?
- Is Being A Paralegal Worth It?
- What Do Paralegals Do In A Law Firm?