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Process Server Basics

Many people have heard of the term “process server.” Maybe you have heard it in the movies, maybe in a crime TV show, or maybe just in passing. Often, when people think of process serving, they think about the cliché “you’ve been served,” a line that we all know from popular culture. However, a process server is much more than that. If you read on, you will learn the process server basics and have a better understanding of this very important legal job, beyond what Hollywood tells us.

Historical Context

Our Constitution, the basis of our government and way of life, states that every citizen receives due process when dealing with the law. Due process, in other words, is a clear explanation of everything that pertains to your legal dealings. For example, if a court summons you, your due process would include the reason why you are being summoned and your responsibilities and rights regarding the summons as a citizen of the United States.

Due process is so important that someone is assigned specifically to make sure it is carried out: a process server. Process servers began as the simple messengers that went around from person to person telling them of any legal proceedings and their rights in those matters. Often, throughout history, a police officer or sheriff would carry out this duty.

However, as our culture advanced, and we saw more and more legal activity, it became necessary to hire a person to specifically provide people with their due process. Hence, the process server was created.

Modern Process Servers

These days, process servers do more than serve legal documents and court summons. They also file court papers, find documents, and even investigate legal proceedings. Process serves must also follow strict legal guidelines for delivering legal documents.

Process servers are much more important and dignified than pop culture dictates, and their jobs go back for generations.