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What Does Service of Process Mean?

Have you heard of the phrase, “service of process”, but are unsure of what it means? Well, you are not alone! Many people don’t understand this legal term the first time that they hear it. In this post, we’ll clarify what service of process actually is to clear up the confusion.

What is process?

According to Cornell Law School, process is “a writ, warrant, mandate, or other process issuing from a court of justice. The term includes subpoenas, citations, and complaints.”

This is just a very fancy way of saying that process is the paperwork required to notify involved persons about court-related issues, such as requests for appearances, decisions, and judgments, or other requirements for upcoming hearings and trials.

Who can receive process?

The intended recipient of the process will depend on the type of process, or court case-related documents, being served. Most process is served to defendants and plaintiffs in cases, such as summons, complaints, writs, etc. However, possibly the most popular process, the subpoena, is served to witnesses or subject matter experts needed to testify in a case hearing or trial.

How is process served?

Process is served by delivering it to its intended recipient… it’s that simple!

Who can serve process?

The laws differ from state to state, and there is no federal guidance on process server qualifications. Here in Colorado, private process servers must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Not be involved in the case for which they are serving the process, directly or indirectly

Is service of process required?

The short answer is yes, the parties in a court case must be officially served by either a law enforcement official or a private process server in order for the case to proceed. The person serving the process must certify that the process was delivered to the correct person, and document the date and time. Getting the signature of the process recipient is preferred, but not required.

Should I hire a professional private process server?

If you work for a legal firm with multiple cases going on at any given time, the burden of serving process for each and every case can become overwhelming. Using law enforcement for all of your firm’s process service needs can leave you sitting around waiting to hear about the status of service, as law enforcement has many other duties and responsibilities that take priority. This is why we always recommend that legal firms seek out the services of a reputable private process service agency like Accurate Serve® of Denver. Our team of knowledgeable, professional process servers will handle all of your cases’ process quickly and discreetly while providing frequent updates via our online status tracking tool, available 24/7 right from our website! Ease your workload with Accurate Serve®’s full line of auxiliary legal services, from process service to document retrievals to skip traces and more. Send us your Denver-area service of process work requests today!