If you’re never had the opportunity to hire or deal with process servers yourself, the only things you know about them may come from the media or movies. Let’s see myths about process servers.
The issue with this perception is that the movie and media industry has taken the liberty of using their freedom of expression and artistic freedom to distort the realities of the profession. For this reason, many misconceptions have formed over the years about the role of process servers.
Now, if you’re past believing the lofty action of Hollywood movies, you might be wondering what the truth about the profession is. To help you out, we have compiled and debunked a few common myths about this profession.
Table of Contents
Myth 1: Process Servers Personally Hand Over Papers to the Recipient
This is perhaps the most common image portrayed in movies. Like Seth Rogen did in Pineapple Express, Hollywood process servers also leave before declaring, “You’ve been served!” The truth of the matter is that process servers don’t say anything of the sort and also don’t need to be physically present to hand over the papers for you to know that you have been served.
Each state has unique rules and regulations for what it really means to be served. Generally, it constitutes a specific set of documents being placed near the recipients, even if they refuse to accept the papers.
Myth 2: This Is An Action Packed Job
On TV and in movies, you will often come across visuals of process servers being chased down by the recipients of process documents or process servers having to wear elaborate disguises to fend off danger. Of course, all of this is merely to engage viewers and make shows more interesting, exciting, or mundane. Though we all enjoy the thrill of the chase, it would be unrealistic to put such pressure on process servers.
Sure, there have been many cases where process servers had to deal with reluctant or emotional individuals, but most of them are dealt with respect and understanding. After all, process servers are just doing their job and don’t personally know the recipients.
Myth 3: Process Servers Do What They Do to Ruin Your Life
Most people are of the opinion that process servers only act as simple messengers who do what they do to provide you with relevant information and to protect your rights. Thankfully enough, Constitutional rules exist to inform you when you can appear in court or have been sued by a party.
Think about how corporations would have taken advantage of people if such establishments weren’t in place. They would have been able to sue anyone in hopes that the defendant wouldn’t appear in court. This would have most probably resulted in default judgments in favor of the one who would have sued them in the first place.
Considering all of the above, process servers have the responsibility of giving you all the information you need to protect yourself against such cases.
Myth 4: Process Servers Need to Disguise Themselves
No, process servers don’t need any fake personas or fake mustaches. Unlike how they are portrayed, process servers aren’t crafty actors who need to disguise themselves to be able to serve the defendants by any means necessary.
In reality, process servers are very professional representatives that are sent to deliver legal documents of high importance. For this reason, they have to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects their importance.
Myth 5: It Is Possible to Avoid Getting Served
Thanks to the constitutional rights of American citizens, lawsuits can never commence before the defendant has been properly notified about the legal proceedings. Now you may be thinking that this is a great opportunity to avoid getting served altogether. Well, this is far from the truth.
You see, you aren’t the first person to have thought of doing so and naturally, you will not be the last. This is why the courts of law have made a provision when it comes to very evasive defendants.
Regardless of which side of their job you stand at, process servers are responsible for helping you. Eventually, the plaintiff could just as easily turn to Plan B, which includes:
- Mailing copies of court summons and complaints through certified mail to a defendants’ business or home address.
- Leaving court documents at a defendants’ business or home address through a competent adult.
Considering all of the above, avoiding a process server could ultimately hurt you a lot more than it could help you. Granted, you may be able to evade a lawsuit for weeks or even months, but at the end of the day, you will stand to be sued one day or another.
What Does It Mean to Be a Process Server In Reality
In reality, being a process server means that you uphold your country’s law of due process, and this idea dates all the way back to the middle ages and a phrase called ‘Magna Carta’.
Without taking you through the whole history lesson, the entire foundation of the fair justice system, which eventually led up to the 5th amendment, is giving citizens the constitutional right to be notified officially whenever any legal action is filed against them.
Process servers were introduced as a measure to make sure that the defendant is always aware of legal action being filed against them. This eventually morphed into the professional process servers of today that provide exceptional quality of service and never report a ‘bad wrap’.
Also, let’s get one thing straight once and for all. Process servers almost always wear professional attire (rather than any disguises) because they represent courts or attorneys.
Now, the only thing left for you to do is search for the best process servers.
Choose Elite Legal Services
It is a process server’s job to combine creativity, organization, and perseverance. Elite Legal Services has been providing professional support services for attorneys in New York for over 18 years, so we know exactly how to get things done.