A precise and well-timed process of service is crucial to the success of any legal proceeding, but sometimes, mistakes happen. Furthermore, it is the most important factor that determines the type of legal action to be taken since no progress can be made until the involved parties receive all relevant documents. To ensure efficiency of the process service, hiring a process server is paramount. They work to deliver documents to the rightful recipients.
Nevertheless, mistakes may occur. Such errors lead to mistrial or case dismissal. It is therefore important to ensure that such mistakes are avoided by hiring a reliable process serving company who adequately train their staff on legal matters.
4 Common Process Serving Mistakes
Serving the wrong person
This seems absurd, but it does happen. A process server may serve an individual with a name similar to or same as that of the intended defendant. Interestingly, the documents may be delivered to an out of date address or attempted on a deceased individual. All these scenarios would constitute a major process service mistake and put your case at serious risk.
Whenever legal documents are served to an unintended party, the opposing counsel easily gains room to contest the service in its entirety. This mounts pressure on the legal team to start the case over, and they usually cave in.
Some situations may require you to relinquish earlier verdicts that had favored you in their ruling. With a successful process delivery, you are assured that all necessary documentation arrives safely to only the living and deserving parties. This is a very critical step that signals other legal procedures to kick off.
Failing to verify every single delivery
Process servers need to verify the identity of whoever they are handing the service documents to. Dishonest and inexperienced servers might make the mistake of failing to verify the identity of the individuals being served.
This usually occurs when the process server makes no visual contact to confirm if the individual is the rightful recipient.
An Affidavit of Service has to be filed by the process servers to back their claims that documents landed in the rightful hands within the stipulated time frame. Surprisingly, some process servers omit this crucial step without bearing in mind that the terms of the Affidavit of Service can be used as ground for the opposing counsel to claim incomplete or incorrect delivery.
An adequately equipped process server will be able to know that keeping records of individuals is essential in proving that they were served.
Disclosing to the defendant or respondent that they are about to get served
As a claimant or applicant, you make a mistake of disclosing impending process service to a defendant. It allows them to evade getting served, by playing antics such as failing to show up at work or ignoring calls to open their door. This makes the service process very difficult and costly for the process service company.
It is obvious that information about impending service shouldn’t be disclosed. However, that is not the case. At times, claimants feel the need to boast how they have succeeded in getting an application through, without comprehending that orders and applications are equally important to the legal process.
Both of these can be pushed aside if the team feels that the service process is incomplete. Concealing information about impending service to respondents generally speeds up the process and helps save unprecedented costs.
Failing to prepare the process server
All process servers require some form of guidance. If you know that an individual is likely to evade service, disclosing such information increases the chances of finding them at the first attempt without tipping them off.
It might seem like a good idea to want to surprise the respondent. However, doing this ends up slowing the process down.
If you have information such as the recipient’s schedule, an upcoming vacation or trip and any other location information, pass it on to your process server. Work hand-in-hand with your process server to improve your odds of achieving success in this complex and difficult procedure.
Process Servers in Baltimore, MD
The knowledgeable and experienced staff at EGA Process Serving is committed to running successful procedures for all service of process requests. We offer standard, rush and same day process serving. Contact us today to stay clear of any service errors or mistakes that may be detrimental to your case.