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Process Serving 101

Process servers play a crucial role in the legal system, ensuring the smooth flow of court schedules by ensuring all parties are aware of their upcoming court dates. In this overview, we delve into the most frequently asked questions about process servers, shedding light on their responsibilities, the nature of their work, and the legal guidelines they must adhere to here in the Great Lakes State.

What is Service of Process?

Service of process is a critical legal procedure involving the formal delivery of court documents, known as ‘process’, to individuals involved in a legal case. This includes delivering summonses and complaints to defendants, as well as subpoenas to witnesses and subject matter experts. The process is delivered by an individual known as a process server. Once the process is served, the process server completes a form verifying the details of the service and files it with the appropriate clerk of court.

Types of Documents Delivered by Process Servers

The range of documents handled by process servers is diverse, encompassing summonses, complaints, subpoenas, motions, orders, and writs. They cater to a variety of legal proceedings, including divorce, child custody disputes, civil lawsuits, evictions, and foreclosures. Some people may even choose to have a process server deliver documents that aren’t legally required, such as formal notices.

Methods of Service

Process servers can use several different methods to get the legal documents to the named individual or business. Personal service, or serving the documents into the person’s hand, is still the preferred method. If personal service is not possible, service by substitution or publication may be allowed. Service by substitution involves giving the documents to a person of legal age that resides in the same home as the person named in the documents. This is often a spouse or adult relative. If the person named in the process cannot be located, a notification may be posted in the local newspaper for a set amount of time. After that time elapses, the person is considered to be “served” and the legal case can proceed. More recently, service via electronic methods such as email or social media have been considered. In any case, any type of service other than personal service must be approved by a judge.

Eligibility to Become a Process Server in Michigan

Michigan does not have strict requirements for who can be a process server. As outlined in the Michigan Rules of Civil Procedure, Chapter 2, anyone who is 18 years old or older, is legally competent, and is not a party to the legal case can serve process in Michigan. Lobbyists are actively working in states like Michigan to create tougher process service laws.

Locating the Process Recipient

Process servers employ various strategies to locate the intended recipient. These include visiting residences, workplaces, schools, directly calling, utilizing social media, and other online resources. At Accurate Serve, we offer skip tracing and diligent search services to help locate elusive process recipients.

Conduct Guidelines for Process Servers

Even though Michigan doesn’t have strict conduct rules for process servers, there are still industry expectations. Process servers must avoid personal involvement in the cases they serve. They must not break any laws while serving process, including refraining from accessing mailboxes, not impersonating law enforcement or other government officials, not accepting bribes, and avoiding other illegal/unethical behavior such as substance use, threats, offensive language, and physical contact.

Accurate Serve of Detroit: Ensuring Lawful and Efficient Service

At Accurate Serve of Detroit, we pride ourselves on our team of knowledgeable and resourceful process servers. They are committed to serving legal documents with utmost professionalism, adhering to all legal requirements to ensure the validity of the service. Our focus on timely service provides peace of mind for our clients and contributes to the efficiency of the Michigan court system. For more information on our services, call us at (313) 385-3703 or visit our website.