What Is A Process Server?

None of us ever hope to fall into any sort of legal trouble. Unfortunately, life doesn’t play out that way.

There might be times in your life when you have to take things to court. For those times when legal action is a necessary step, you need to be prepared with all the information that you might require.

Process service is one such step that comes right at the start and is crucial for a smooth legal proceeding. Yet, so many people remain completely clueless about it.

This is why we answer the most important questions people have about process servers— so that you are always prepared for what life throws at you.

What Is The Process of Serving?

Service of process or process service, as it is commonly known, is the official legal notification to a party that a case has been opened against them or their assistance is required in relation to a court case. 

The practice of process service comes from the USA where sheriffs and deputies would notify defendants about disputes. Eventually, it began occurring at a more organized scale and spread across the world. 

Today, process service is necessary because it allows the exercising of jurisdiction over the accused party. It compels the defendant to present themselves in the court of law for the smooth functioning of the legal proceedings.

Process servers are individuals or organizations that carry out the task of process service. They take up the responsibility of delivering the right documents to the right individual within the right time frame so that legal proceedings can occur smoothly.

Who Can Serve Papers?

Different countries have different criteria and requirements for individuals and organizations to become eligible for carrying out process service.

In the case of Canada, there is no uniform set of requirements applicable across the entire country. In fact, you do not even need an official certification of any sort! This is because the requirements regarding carrying out process service completely correspond to the different provinces. 

However, as a general rule of thumb, the requirements are that a process service provider should have knowledge about law enforcement and criminal justice. This is because you need to make sure that the procedure for legal notification is done correctly for it to be valid.

Lastly, a person carrying out process service must always be above 18 years of age.

Why Do You Need Process Servers?

The biggest advantage of process servers is making your legal proceedings smooth.

Are you are applying for divorce and want to notify your partner about the same? Or maybe a summons needs to be delivered to an individual in relation to a lawsuit? Whether it is a subpoena, a writ, or any other form of legal document, you need a process server for it all.

This is because there are certain criteria that need to be fulfilled in the delivery process for the legal notification to be considered valid. Without completing the process the right way, your legal proceedings cannot move forward.

Another secondary advantage of process servers is tracking and tracing.

Process servers are entities that have the authority to use technology and individuals like detectives to track and trace individuals. This is done in order to ensure that the party to whom the documents need to be delivered cannot avoid the same.

Skip tracing is an important advantage of process servers. 

While there are provinces like Ontario that allow you to get documents delivered by any third party over the age of 18 as long as all legal requirements are followed, there is a major issue with this— what if the receiver of the document tries to avoid getting the documents delivered?

Avoiding legal notification is an easy way to delay the legal proceedings and even get away from them altogether. To prevent such a situation, process servers make use of skip tracing (‘tracing’ someone who has ‘skipped’ or run away) to make sure that the documents are delivered. This includes making use of tracking technology, private detectives, and obtaining permission for resources/databases to find the individual who skipped.

Serving papers when the defendant is ready to accept them is very straightforward for a process server. Usually, the process server would reach out to the individual’s home, confirm their identification, hand them the papers, and raise an affidavit of service once the work is done.

Apart from this, a process server can also serve you papers at your place of employment. While this is not the usual route taken right from the start, it might be opted for if you are difficult to reach out to.

Similarly, if someone is authorized to collect the documents on your behalf, the process server can also deliver the documents to that person. However, the authorization to collect the papers must be appropriately established and the person must not be a minor.

However, this is not as simple when the individual is trying to get away. In a situation where the defendant is avoiding getting served, a process server has certain powers and authority to make the legal notification happen.

As mentioned before, if a person is avoiding getting served, a process server can make use of skip tracing to complete the task. A process server can also stakeout a person to deliver the papers if the person is choosing to not face the process server.

However, it must be noted that activities like breaking and entering, harassment, and threats cannot be used by a process server for the delivery of documents.

What Is A Process Server Allowed To Do In Canada?

In Canadian law, a process server is allowed to perform various tasks related to serving legal documents to individuals involved in a court case. Their main responsibility is to deliver these documents, such as summons, subpoenas, or divorce papers, ensuring that the recipients are properly informed about their legal rights and responsibilities.

Process servers have the authority to personally serve individuals at their homes, workplaces, or any other location where they can be found, as long as it is within reasonable hours. They can also engage in sub-serving, which means delivering the documents to someone close to the intended recipient, such as a family member or colleague, if they are unable to reach the individual directly.

However, process servers are not allowed to trespass on private property or break the law while trying to serve the documents. They must adhere to ethical guidelines and ensure they follow the laws and regulations governing the service of legal documents in Canada.

Can You Refuse To Be Served Papers In Canada?

In Canada, individuals cannot refuse to be served legal papers, such as court documents or subpoenas. The legal system requires individuals to be notified of legal proceedings against them, and therefore it is essential that they receive the relevant documents.

 Process serving is the method of delivering these papers to the intended recipient. The server, known as a process server, is responsible for ensuring that the documents are personally received by the individual being served. If the recipient refuses to accept the papers or avoids being served, the process server may use alternative methods to deliver the documents.

This can include leaving the documents with a responsible person at the recipient’s residence or workplace, or even affixing the documents to the front door if no other option is available. Ultimately, individuals in Canada cannot avoid being served legal papers, as this would impede the justice system’s ability to proceed with legal proceedings.

Choosing The Right Process Server

All the host of information covered so far makes one thing clear— process servers are desperately needed to ensure a smooth experience and avoid unnecessary hassle.

If you are in need of a process server, always make sure to check into its past history of delivering documents to make the right decision. A good track record of making deliveries the right way is a must-have criteria for any successful process server.

Do your research thoroughly, make sure to go through reviews, and you will be bound to make the right decision!