You got served! These three words are not only familiar but had gained notoriety over the years. People fear the mere mention of these words. But what does it actually mean?
It has been said the understanding is the key to erase fear. Generally, service of process involves two parties at opposing sides and a legal act connecting the two parties. Specifically, the two parties are the one who serves the process or the one who caused the process to be served and the other one is the intended recipient of the process. It is the recipient of the process who usually “fear” to hear the “you got served” line. But saying those same words means success to the other party.
“You got served” basically means that a party was made aware that a lawsuit was commenced against him or her. Since a lawsuit is usually viewed as a hassle or a glitch in everyday life, it is avoided, evaded, ducked, sidestepped and in many ways dodged in various imaginative ways.
Avoiding Drama During Personal Service or Delivery of Processes
The best way to serve the any legal process is by personal service or delivery, which can be done by tendering the actual physical process or papers to the person named on the papers. This means that the process server will have to come face to face with the person named on the legal papers to be served.
In most cases, once a person was tendered with the legal process, he or she receives it without much fuss. The process server will write the date and time of the delivery on his copy of such legal process. The service of process is then complete and the person named in the process is now within the jurisdiction of the court that issued the said process.
However, in certain exceptional cases, since there is a face-to-face meeting or a confrontation, in many circumstances it becomes a little dramatic. This happens when the person being served with the legal process refuses to receive it, and the process server insisting the receipt of the same papers. The inherent situation is a potential conflict zone.
In this instance, a process server with good communication and social skills will succeed in serving the legal process in the least struggle as possible. It must be understood that any person’s initial reaction to any legal process is to refuse, reject and then to flee. Thus, a process server that can serve the papers in the most calm and amiable manner will overcome this initial rejection.
Timing is also a factor in personal service. Timing when coupled with prior investigation on the personality and demeanor of the person to be served will produce a high rate of success and eliminating the risk of a conflict. Most people would keep under wraps any hint that he is being sued. That is why it is important that any summons, demand letter or any legal document for that matter be served on him privately. This would eliminate the burden to explain to any companion he may have at the time of the service, why such a process is being given to him.
In the event that the intended recipient continues to refuse the service of process, the process server should attempt to serve him at least two more times. Serving the process at least thrice would constitute reasonable diligence and could be a solid ground to request for a substituted service, which is another method of service of process.