Who enjoys have documents served on them? My best guess is no one.
This being said, the role of a process server is one that needs to be scrutinized by clients before they assign jobs to be served. Clients must understand that servers are not delivery guys. Servers are not delivering documents that people want to receive. So when the recipients of these documents attempt to avoid service, we are usually not alarmed.
As Bob states, when attorneys draft these documents, they are doing so because they are after either your money (if it’s a summons) or your time (if it’s a subpoena). If someone knows legal documents are on the way, he/she may do whatever it takes to make sure this process is not completed so an appearance in court cannot happen. However, although this may seem effective for some time, eventually, the person will most likely lose the race and will get discovered.
In his op-ed piece, Five Reasons not to Avoid Service of Process!, Dave Krieger advises, “When you don’t understand WHO is coming after you, you won’t know how to establish an “End Game Strategy” to beat down the action being taken against you.”
Doesn’t this make sense? Wouldn’t you want to know who is after you if you don’t already? And if you do, wouldn’t you want this notification so you can figure out a way to come up with a solution?
Krieger goes on to say, “Judges don’t like it when the party being served deliberately says “NO” to process, because it’s their right to know what they’re being accused of doing (or not doing)…No matter what the outcome of service, time is working against you the longer you wait to accept service.”
In these cases when we are unable to serve an individual at his/her house or business address, we run skip traces to seek alternate addresses or execute wait time and surveillance to catch him/her coming or leaving from their current address.
The delivery of legal documents is not always simple; sometimes it requires extra steps and most of all, loads of patience. ♦
One thing that I have found out over the years, in doing this job, is that the people who hire us are sometimes unaware of what happens to us in the field, trying to serve a paper. I coined the phrase, I called it, “It’s not a pizza.”
When you’re going up to a door to serve somebody with original process, a summons, which is something that you’re after their money. The person who’s initiated the suit is after their money. That’s the difference between a summons and a subpoena. Summons, you’re after their money. Subpoena, you’re after their time. No big deal.
But when you’re after somebody for their money, they don’t want to see you. They don’t want to know you. They’ll climb out a back window. They’ll run you over with their car. They’ll do all kinds of things to get away from you because they understand what it is.
So, it’s not a pizza. We’re not walking up to the door with something they want, something they would like to have. We’re walking up to the door with something they don’t want and they don’t want to have. So, it’s up to us to be the player, according to the situation.