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Avoiding a Process Server Has Consequences

It’s a natural human instinct to avoid people and events that appear dangerous or make us uncomfortable and nervous. Unfortunately, many people feel that way about process servers.

A process server is a person who is legally certified to deliver court orders and court documents relating to a defendant’s presence in court. Aside from court-appointed officials like the sheriff, process servers are the only individuals who can serve defendants with the papers necessary to advance a court case or legal situation. 

It may be tempting to avoid a process server so that you never receive the papers that potentially hold bad news for you. However, avoiding a process server has real consequences that could be even worse.

The Legal Proceedings Will Go On Without You

Even if you think you’ve avoided service of process, the court may rule that you still had “actual  knowledge” of the legal proceeding and, thus, are still held accountable for the decisions made in the case. 

For example, recipients have tried to close the door or window or physically move away from process servers to avoid touching the papers being served. In all cases, the court ruled service of process had been properly performed. If the defendant failed to participate in the court hearing after claiming improper service, he forfeited his rights to contest the resulting legal action against them. 

Skip Tracing and Investigation

You can run, but you probably can’t hide from your process server. Trained process servers know exactly how to use investigative techniques to gather information on your employer, friends, family, living situation, and communications. They have the legal right to call people who know you, ask questions, and search for you around every corner. For many people, this is worse than just facing the court papers. 

Alternative Methods of Service

Even if your process server can’t find you to hand over the papers themselves, alternative methods of service are available. In today’s modern age, even social media and email are being used for process serving!


The bottom line? Accept the papers your process server is delivering, read through them, and speak with an attorney to determine your best response.