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Process Server: Shot in Service

With almost any job, there are certain risks. It is seldom acknowledged that there are great inherent risks in being a process server. When you are a process server, you are striving to complete a task that explicitly risks confronting angry or unhappy people. Bearing the bad news can sometimes mean risking your own well-being for the sake of meeting or exceeding job requirements. In the case of a process server in Arizona, those risks included getting shot.

Daily Courier

The Daily Courier in Prescott, Arizona reported on September 27, 2011 that a process server was shot by a Prescott man, Larry Stewart, 57, after taping papers to the house door. Bob Palmer, of Palmer Investigations, told media sources that his employee was serving a complaint and civil summons. Due to the mounting, intentional avoidances of process servers, the employee had secured permission to deliver by mail and by taping the summons to the door. As the server retreated to his vehicle, three shots were fired.


The wounded process server was treated for one non-life-threatening wound in his lower right abdomen. The shooter was charged with attempted second degree murder, aggravated assault, and three counts of firing a weapon within city limits.

Uncommon, But Unkind

Process servers face risks and aggravations that many people in the service industry do not regularly experience. Often times, it is the responsibility of a process server to mitigate these risks in the field. Aggression, anger, and frustration are not always present, but not altogether uncommon. People are unpredictable.

In the case of the shooting in Prescott, AZ, it is important to note the persistence of the server and his employer. While people can be unpredictable, the job of a server is necessary and professionalism can sometimes be the key. Other times, bad situations are seemingly unavoidable.