Special Process Servers in Divorce and Family Law

An important first step in most divorce or family law matters is one party serves the other party the summons and initial pleadings in the case. The exception is where the non-filing party waives service and accepts the summons without being served.

Service occurs when the case is filed with the court. The court then prepares a summons to go with the initial pleadings. If the parties do not request a special process server (also known as a private process server), the summons and pleadings are served by the county sheriff. The county sheriff can often effectuate service.

In many instances, however, it is advisable to use a special process server instead of the sheriff. Some might not fully understand the reasons at first glance or even the difference.

The sheriff is employed by the county where they are employed. It is certainly true that the is that the sheriff can often effectuate service. However, in cases where service much occurt at a particular time and date, or in cases where a party is purposefully evading service, a special process server can be the better option.

Sheriffs often have lots of summons that they need to serve. They can have a significant backlog. The sheriff is routinely a salary in most locations. Thus, they are not fiancially rewarded for obtaining service quickly. Sheriffs also do not typically work non-traditional hours.

In contrast, a special process server is privately employed. They generally get paid by individuals for obtaining service. Versus working a normal 9 am to 5 pm, special process servers often work late at night and early in the morning.

Many special process servers are also able to obtain service at a specifically designated time. They might even conduct "stake outs" to obtain service. They do this because they usually get paid by the hour for their time. This results in a financial incentive for them.

Often, individuals can also speak with the special process server to provide helpful information. They might even give a photograph to the special process server of the person being served. While some sheriffs might be willing to do this, this is usually more difficult. Some special process servers often are private investigators. Thus, they might be able to serve in both rules.

Special process server can also help where service needs to be obtained quickly for a deposition or a trial. It can be hard to rely on a sheriff when there is a tight deadline.

It is true that special process server can often cost more than the sheriff. But it is often the best option and worth the cost in divorce and family law matters.

If you are going through a divorce or family law matter where important papers need to be served quickly, you can contact us online or at 855-805-0595.