The Importance Of Professional Process Servers In Legal Proceedings

The legal system is incredibly complex—and out of all the moving parts, the most complicated are humans.

The Importance Of Professional Process Servers In Legal Proceedings

For a trial to run successfully, you need people. Some of the people might be ready and willing to appear; some might be far more reluctant. No matter what the case may be, the people who are required to attend court must be informed of their obligations.

That’s where process servers come in. In this article, we’ll explore what process servers do, why they’re so vital to the legal system, and why professionalism plays an essential role in their work. 

What are process servers?

Process servers are legal professionals who deliver a variety of legal documents, including:

  • Summons
  • Subpoenas
  • Complaints
  • And other legal notices

There are several laws and regulations governing the delivery of legal documents—you can’t just send a subpoena in the mail because there’s no guarantee that the person being subpoenaed will actually look at it.

The laws governing the delivery of documents vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so the work of a process server might differ somewhat between two places. A process server in Texas might have a very different workflow than a process server in New York. 

Nonetheless, some commonalities exist between all process servers. They’re tasked with locating, identifying, and delivering documents to their intended recipients, then providing proof that those documents have been delivered. The process of delivering documents is often referred to as “serving”.

Why process servers are so important

Without process servers, the legal system of the United States (and many other countries) couldn’t exist in its current form.

One of the primary tenants of the legal system is due process—the principle that individuals have the right to fair treatment and to the protection of their legal rights. Process servers are an integral part of due process. 

For example, a witness has a right to know that they’ve been subpoenaed, what the subpoena entails, and any other pertinent information (such as when they are to appear in court). To penalize a person with legal consequences for a failure to appear is unjust if:

  • They haven’t received the subpoena
  • They didn’t understand how the subpoena worked
  • The subpoena was delivered to them in a manner that was illegal

Process servers help with all of the above. They ensure that essential documents are served professionally, legally, and properly to the intended recipient. 

Why professionalism counts

Imagine having a court case fall through because a key witness didn’t receive their subpoena—or because they weren’t subpoenaed properly. Worse yet, there could be a defendant who wasn’t summoned properly.

Process servers must be consummate professionals. They need to serve documents in accordance with local laws—and that means strict adherence to a set of rules. A professional process server also reinforces trust in the legal system—if you were served notice by someone who didn’t know their head from their tail, you might doubt the validity of the documents you were served.

As highly trained legal professionals, process servers are held to high standards. When serving legal documents, it pays to hire experienced, professional process servers.