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Protecting Yourself From Service of Process Issues

Service of process is one of the most fundamental parts of due process in the American legal system. Although it is such a basic aspect of the law, it can be potentially fraught with issues. People who underestimate the risk of complications can find themselves dealing with delays in their case, which can result in missed deadlines and serious setbacks for their lawsuits. Here are five ways you can protect yourself from service of process issues:

  1. Make sure you know where to find the defendant
    • Of course, one of the most basic parts of serving a summons and complaint on a defendant is knowing where to find them in the first place. Making sure you have the right contact information is thus essential to ensuring effective service of process. If your information is out of date or inaccurate, it could slow down everything until you get the correct information.
  2. Be persistent
    • Not every defendant will make getting contact with them easy, however. Some defendants will go to great lengths to avoid being served, even fleeing the jurisdiction to evade process servers. In those cases, persistence can pay off, so long as your contact information is correct and you know where to find the defendant.
  3. Double check case and court information
    • It can seem silly, but more cases than most people realize get stymied early on due to inaccurate information on the summons and complaint. This can include having the wrong case number, or the wrong information for the court where the case is being heard. It could even mean that the summons or the complaint is incomplete and missing critical information (or is missing entirely). Make sure everything is correct and complete before you send out the summons and complaint for service.
  4. Keep abreast of developments in the service
    • Thanks to modern technology, it’s possible to keep track of service of process as it happens. Keeping abreast of developments will let you know exactly when a defendant has been served, and ensure you get the receipt of service as soon as possible. This will allow you to quickly move from getting the receipt of service to your first formal motions, allowing you to actually begin going forward with your case.
  5. Find the right process servers for the job
    • Not all process servers are the same. While most process servers should be reliable, some will not do their due diligence when performing in-person service of process, complicating future matters. Ensuring you hire trained and bonded process servers will ensure the smoothest possible service of process possible, minimizing your risk of errors and letting you worry about getting your case on track.

The process servers at Nicoletti & Harris have provided nationwide service of process and litigation support for our clients since 1986, giving us the experience to handle the demands of the modern legal environment. We provide service for all areas of law, assisting clients throughout New York, New Jersey, and Florida, as well as the rest of the country. If you require a process server or other forms of litigation support, contact our New York office at (212) 267-6448, or you can contact our New Jersey office at (732) 677-3903, or you can visit our contact page.

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