Are you being visited by a process server?
Most people involved in a court case have to face process servers and may not entirely know what the process servers can and cannot do when tasked to serve you court documents.
Let’s discuss how many times a process server can come to your house and what they can or cannot do.
What Is Service of Process?
The service of process is ensuring that the defendant gets a copy of the case filing in a timely manner to respond and appear for the summons. A court case cannot move forward until the defendant has been served with the proper paperwork.
Legally, the person filing the complaint, or case, cannot personally serve these papers to the defendant and must use one of three methods of service, including:
- Sheriff or constable
A common option but not the most effective method of service
- Private process
The most effective and fastest method of service through a private company or individual
- Certified mail
An easy way but not effective because it requires the compliance of defendants to sign off
Using these methods, a defendant can be served anywhere, at their home, work or any public place they may be present at, according to Rule 1-321 of the code of Maryland. Moreover, the plaintiff is required to provide proof of delivery in court.
What Is a Process Server?
A process server is a person who serves official court documents to notify the defendant of their lawsuit. This person must be over the age of 18 and not have a personal involvement in the court case they are serving papers for.
In the case of serving in Maryland, service of process may be made by a sheriff or by a competent private person, 18 years of age or older, including an attorney of record, but not by a party to the action. Moreover, unlike some states, a process server does not need to be licensed to serve in Maryland.
How Many Times Can a Process Server Come to Your House?
Generally, a process server can come to your house as many times as they want. They will usually make three attempts, in the morning, afternoon and evening respectively, typically on different days of the week to maximize their chances of reaching you.
A process server, however, cannot break any laws in order to reach you and serve the papers. They cannot break and enter, they cannot use threats or force to enter, they cannot pretend to be law enforcement and they cannot leave the documents with a minor of your residence.
They are not trespassing, unless they unlock locked gates or enter a locked building without permission. They can only legally enter your property or building or wait for you to leave. They can stakeout at your home, work or any place you commonly visit and wait for you to show up.
While they cannot leave the papers with a minor of your household, if you are being evasive, they can leave it with an adult of your household, provided they understand to deliver the papers to you.
The service of process is a necessary legal procedure that requires due diligence and lawful conduct in order to properly be usable in court. You never want your service of process to be dismissed in court, which is why getting the help of professional services is the best option.
If you want the best process serving in Maryland, then EGA Process Serving is the option for you. They are experienced professionals who provide process serving, skip tracing, background checks, legal couriers and other legal services to individuals and law firms.
If you want to learn more about these services, please visit the EGA Process Serving website today.