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Archive for March, 2010

Process Server – Just a glorified postman?

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

It is not unusual that a process server will describe themselves as just a glorified postman, frequently to those receiving the documents, however if this is the case then why do solicitors continue to use professional process servers instead of Royal Mail?

The Royal Mail is pretty good at what it does, but everyone is aware of the well documented flaws.  For a legal document to be served correctly it is important to be sure that it has been delivered and received by the intended recipient.  Using the Royal Mail firstly the letter would have to be sent by recorded delivery so that it could be tracked to its destination, to prove delivery.

The next problem comes when delivery is attempted.  How many of us have received letters or parcels that have been signed for by other members of our household or even left with a neighbour for safe keeping.  In this case the Royal Mail has performed their duty by ensuring that the letter has been delivered to the address, but how can anyone be sure if the intended recipient will receive the document and if they do, how long it will take before they open it and take account of the contents.  The same problems occur when using a courier company.

By instructing a process server you can be sure that if a document can be served personally, it will be.  Professional process servers are very determined people who will never intentionally allow a target to evade service.  Should the recipient of the papers not be in on the first visit, discreet enquiries will usually be made with neighbours to confirm residency and the best time to call back again to find the person in and maximise the chance of personal service.  It is usually found that the best time to visit is out of conventional office hours and a process server will be more than happy to attend at the most appropriate time.

Once personal service is effected, the process server will complete a statement of service or swear an affidavit containing all the relevant details to confirm service of the papers.  This can then be entered into court and in very rare cases the process server can be called upon to give oral evidence under oath in open court regarding the service of the papers.  I don’t believe that this is a service that you will find the Royal Mail or any similar company offering any time soon!

Herdens can provide process servers throughout the UK to ensure the prompt and efficient service of all types of legal documents.  Services are usually provided on a fixed fee basis to include multiple visits if necessary and a statement of service or affidavit of service included in the cost.