4 Must-know Process Server Tricks. Just like any other job, you need to find ways to be better at process service than expected. Process service can be a hard job. You will be met with tough situations along the way that might make you feel like you are in the wrong vocation. However, with proper planning and the use of appropriate and legal tricks, you can maneuver through this role quite seamlessly.
4 Must-know Process Server Tricks
Here are a few tricks that can make your job easier and each service faster:
1. Gather all information necessary
Before attempting a service, arm yourself with all the relevant information needed for the particular service. Be clear on:
- The defendant’s full name; first, middle and surname as they will come in handy when delivering the papers
- What does the person look like? Get a clear picture of their physical features so you can identify them from a distance
- Where do they work and what role do they play in that organization? You can use this information when you are serving the documents at their workplace and you need to sound like you know them personally
- Where do they live?
- Do they have social media accounts? You can use this to know their whereabouts or general habits that can allow you to locate them if needed
- Do they drive a car? What kind and what are the plates? Again, helps with locating them
- When you are fully armed with such information, it is easy to locate the defendant
If you suspect that the defendant might try to evade service, you can do stakeouts at their home address or office to know their time patterns. Stake-outs are legal for a process server and not considered stalking as long as it is clear that you are attempting to serve the individual with court documents. Stake-outs give you a better chance for a successful service
3. Use the defendant’s first name
When you finally get to their home address, talk to the neighbor and use the defendant’s first name while asking about them. Asking for “Jane” as opposed to “Jane Doe” sounds like you are familiar and friendly with the person. Pretend you are looking to see them and you landed at the wrong address. The neighbors are likely to not only direct you to the right address but also give you details about their schedules; when Jane comes home and where she is most likely to be at that time. You would be surprised at how much information you can gather from a neighbor about a person’s schedule and habits.
4. Make use of skip tracing
If you are unable to find the defendant at their address, or they do not answer the door severally, use skip tracing to find their phone number. Then contact them on the number while at their door. If you hear the phone ringing inside then you can be certain you are at the right address.
Generally, serving process to an unwilling party requires a lot of creativity on your part. You have to think on your feet at all times, ready to find alternative solutions whenever needed.
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