We CANNOT serve on federal property.

As Bob Fischer, president of Professional Process Servers & Investigators, Inc., explains, any facility owned by the government, such as a courthouse, cannot have service take place there. It’s the law.

This is something that is common knowledge among process servers and should be known by attorneys. However, in special circumstances, certain rules may apply. ♦

 

Transcript:

One other thing that I want to bring up is service on federal property. I have experience in this.

One time, I was told by a paralegal, through their attorney, that the subject of the lawsuit was going to be in federal court that day, such and such a courtroom. “Please go down and serve him.” Well, I went down there to serve him, and I’m thinking, “Now, wait a minute. What’s the statute about serving on federal property?” And I looked it back up again, I hadn’t used it in a long time, and I found out that you cannot serve service of process on federal property. You cannot serve it in a courthouse, a federal courthouse. You cannot serve it on the sidewalk of the federal courthouse.

So, if you have anything of that nature, that you’re gonna give your process server, make sure that you know and that he knows you cannot serve on federal property. He’ll walk up, he’ll drop the paper on the guy sitting on the bench outside the courtroom waiting to go in to see the federal judge. And you think you’ve done a good job. And next thing you know, you’ve got a motion to quash because you served on a federal property.

You can’t do it. You can’t serve at a post office, military bases, anything that’s owned by the government, you cannot serve process. You have to wait until they actually step off the curb, which is what I did. I followed the guy through the courthouse, he was trying to get away from me. Got outside, was walking down the side, he finally crossed the street to get to his car. Soon as he put his foot on the pavement, on the roadway, I served him.