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General Information Pertaining to Multiple States

States with Statewide Licensing Laws

Process servers are licensed by the Commissioner of Public Safety. A $15,000 surety bond is required to be posted by each process server. The bond applies primarily to theft that may arise out of levies and executions. Applicants must pass a written examination.

Arizona has statewide registration of process servers in compliance with procedures set forth by the Arizona Supreme Court. Applicants must be 21 and a bona fide resident for one year immediately preceding application. Applicants must pass a written examination. No bonding or insurance required.

Persons who serve more than 10 papers a year are required to be registered in the county in which they operate. Registration is valid statewide. Applicants must be a resident for one year immediately preceding filing. Each applicant is required to post a $2,000 bond or cash deposit. No testing or education required. Licensed private investigators, although exempt from the registration requirement, would probably not be empowered to serve bank levies and similar documents without being registered in view of the statutory language requiring that a registered process serverserve those documents.

There is no statewide licensing law in Illinois; however, a person licensed in Illinois as a private detective may serve original process in all counties except for Cook County without special appointment. In order for PIs to serve in Cook County, the court upon motion and in its discretion, may appoint a private detective agency as a special process server in lieu of an individual. It is not necessary that service be made only by a sheriff or PI. Private persons over the age of 18, upon motion, may be appointed by the court to serve original process.

Any person who makes more than 10 services of process in any 1 calendar year must be registered. The registration certificate also empowers the process server to act as a levying officer and requires process servers to have a surety bond of $10,000 per individual or $100,000 per firm. Process servers cannot levy on an amount in excess of their bond. Applicants must pass a written examination based on the Handbook for Process Servers, which is published by the Montana Department of Commerce.

All persons who engage in business as a process server must be licensed. Applicants must be 21 or over, have 2 years’ experience as a process server, and have insurance for protection against liability to third persons with limits of not less than $200,000. No bonding is required. Applicants must deposit $750 at time of application to pay for a background investigation, the cost of which must be paid for by applicant up to a maximum of $1500. Applicants must pass a written application and may be required to pass an oral examination. Licenses are issued by the Nevada Private Investigator Licensing Board. The most expensive state in the nation in which to get licensed.

Process servers are required to be licensed, and all licensees must execute a bond running to the State of Oklahoma in the amount of $5,000 for faithful performance of his or her duties...Applicants may pay a fee of $35 and be licensed to serve process in the county in which the license is issued, or applicant may pay a fee of $150 and be licensed statewide. The license states that process servers are officers of the court only for the service of process. No testing or education required.

Effective July 1, 2005, the Texas Supreme Court adopted changes to Rules 103 and 536(a) of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (TRCP) which pertain to the statewide Certification of process servers.

A person who serves legal process for a fee in the State of Washington is required to register with the auditor of the county in which the process server resides or operates his or her principal place of business and pay a $10 fee. No testing and no requirement for insurance or bonding. Easiest and most inexpensive state in which to get a license.


States with Local Licensing Laws

Sheriffs in certain counties (currently about seven) will appoint individuals as a special process server. Applicants must be at least 18, be a permanent resident of the state, submit to an examination and execute a $5,000 bond.

The chief judge of each judicial circuit is empowered to certify process servers to serve process, and currently judges in approximately 30 counties grant such certifications. The requirements for becoming certified are essentially the same as the requirements for being appointed a special process server by the sheriff.

City of St. Louis (22nd Judicial District)(pop. 400,000) requires that all persons who want to become process servers must take and pass a training course (5 nights of classroom instruction with written examination) administered by the Sheriff of the City of St. Louis. Applicants must be 21 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED and no criminal record. All process servers are required to have E&O coverage with limits of at least $100,000.

City of New York(pop. 8 million) requires all persons who serve process within its 5 boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Queens) to be licensed through the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. There is no requirement for insurance or bonding and no educational requirement or testing.


State Laws Prohibiting Service of Process on Sundays/Holidays

All state court papers should be served in accordance with the law of the state having original jurisdiction (where the complaint is filed).

Several states do not permit documents to be served on Sundays or Holidays, but some of these states will permit service under special circumstances pursuant to Court Order.

If you live in a state where Sunday service is not permitted, it is your obligation to include this information in your instruction sheet when forwarding work to out-of-state members.

• Florida- Sundays
• Maine- Sundays
• Massachusetts- Sundays
• Minnesota- Sundays and Holidays
• New York- Sundays and Saturday as Holy Time
• Rhode Island- Sundays
• South Dakota- Sundays
• Tennessee- Sundays except by Court Order
• Texas- Sundays
• Virginia- Sundays
• West Virginia – Sundays

State Laws Prohibiting Interference with Service of Process

Title 22 Criminal Offenses
Sec. 22-722. Prohibited Acts; Penalty

(a.) A person commits the offense of obstruction of justice if that person:
(2.) Knowingly uses intimidating or physical force, threatens or corruptly persuades another person, or by threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede a witness or officer in any official proceeding, with intent to:
(c.) Evade a legal process that summons the person to appear as a witness or to produce a document in an official proceeding

Title XLVI Crimes
Chapter 843 Obstructing Justice

843.01 Resisting officer with violence
843.02 Resisting officer without violence to his or her person. Whoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer as defined in s. 943.10(1), (2), (3), (6), (7), (8), or (9); member of the parole commission or any administrative aide or supervisor; personnel or representative of the Dept. of Law Enforcement; or other person legally authorized to execute process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty, without offering or doing violence to the person of the officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in S. 775.082 or s. 775.083

Criminal Offenses
Criminal Code of 1961
(720 ILCS 5/31-3)
Sec. 31-3. Obstructing service of process.

Whoever knowingly resists or obstructs the authorized service or execution of any civil or criminal process or order of any court commits a Class B misdemeanor.

719.1 Interference with Official Acts.

1. A person who knowingly resists or obstructs the service or execution by any authorized person of any civil or criminal process or order of any court, commits a serious misdemeanor.
3. The terms resist and obstruct, as used in this section, do not include verbal harassment unless the verbal harassment is accompanied by a present ability and apparent intention to execute a verbal threat physically.

Chapter 21 Crimes and Punishments
21-3808. Obstructing legal process or official duty.

(a) Obstructing legal process or official duty is knowingly and intentionally obstructing, resisting or opposing any person authorized by law to serve process in the service or execution or in the attempt to serve or execute any writ, warrant, process or order of a court, or in the discharge of any official duty.
(b) (1) Obstructing legal process in the case of a felony, is a severity level 9, nonperson felony.
(2) Obstructing legal process in a case of misdemeanor is a class A nonperson misdemeanor.

750.479 Resisting or obstructing officer in discharge of duty

Any person who shall knowingly and willfully obstruct, resist or oppose any sheriff, coroner, township treasurer, constable or any other officer or person duly authorized, in serving, or attempting to serve any process, rule or order made or issued by lawful authority or who shall assault, beat or wound any constable or other officer duly authorized, while serving, or attempting to serve any such process,shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 2 years, or by a fine of not more than 1,000 dollars.

Sec. 97-9-75. Resisting service of process

Any person who knowingly and willfully opposes or resists any officer or other authorized person in serving or attempting to serve or execute any legal writ or process, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

575.160 Interference with legal process

1. A person commits the crime of interference with legal process if, knowing any person is authorized by law to serve process, for the purpose of preventing such person from effecting the service of any process, he interferes with or obstructs such person.
2. Process includes any writ, summons, subpoena, warrant or other than an arrest warrant, or other process or order of the court.
3. Interference with legal process is a class B misdemeanor

575.170. Refusing to make an employee available for service of process
1. Any employer, or any agent who is in charge of a business establishment, commits the crime of refusing to make an employee available for service of process if he knowingly refuses to assist any officer authorized by law to serve process who calls at such business establishment during the working hours of an employee for the purpose of serving process on such employee, by failing or refusing to make such employee available for service of process.
2. Refusing to make an employee available for service of process is a class C misdemeanor.

25-3-105. Person serving process - penalty for obstruction.

A process server registered under chapter 1, part 11, a licensed attorney, or a sheriff, constable, coroner, elisor, or other government employee who is acting in the course of the person’s employment while serving process is a public servant for the purpose of determining the offense of obstructing a public servant as provided in 45-7-302. A person who obstructs a person serving process is guilty of obstruction of a public servant and is punishable as provided in 45-7-302.

Chapter 30 Criminal Offenses
30-22-1. Resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.

Resisting, evading or obstructing an officer consists of:
A. Knowingly obstructing, resisting or opposing any officer of this state or any other duly authorized person serving or attempting to serve or execute any process or any rule or order of any of the courts of this state or any other judicial writ or process.

Title 8.01.
18.2-409. Resisting or obstructing execution of legal process.

Every person acting jointly or in combination with any other person to resist or obstruct the execution of any legal process shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Title 22 Crimes
Chapter 11 Obstruction of the Administration of Govt.
Sec. 22-11-1. Resisting execution of service of process.

Any person who resists the execution or service of any legal process is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

39-16-602 Resisting stop, frisk, half, arrest or search-prevention or obstruction of service of legal writ or process.

(c) It is an offense for a person to intentionally prevent or obstruct an officer of the state or any other person known to be a civil process server in serving, or attempting to serve or execute, any legal writ, or process.
(d) A violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

Chapter 38. Obstructing Governmental Operation
Sec. 38.16. Preventing Execution of Civil Process

(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly by words or physical action prevents the execution of any process in a civil cause.
(b) It is an exception to the application of this section that the actor evaded service of process by avoiding detection.
(c) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

76-8-301. Interference with Public Servant

(1) A person is guilty of interference with a public servant if he:
(a) uses force, violence, intimidation, or engages in any other unlawful act with a purpose to interfere with a public servant performing or purporting to perform an official function; or
(b) knowingly or intentionally interferes with the lawful service of process by a public servant.
(2) Interference with a public servant is a class B misdemeanor.


*This page is designed for general information only. The information presented on this page is subject to change.


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