Process Servers – Your Questions Answered

The closest most people will ever get to a process server Bristol is seeing the rather OTT portrayals of such individuals in the movies. Not that this is a bad thing as it’s not as if anyone would really relish the thought of being on either end of a civil legal matter. However, for thousands across the UK each and every month it becomes more than necessary to serve papers for a million and one reasons, which in turn prompts all manner of questions on the subject of process serving and what it is that process servers do.

So for those with a question to ask, here’s an overview of some of the most common queries of all and their respective answers:

What Are Process Servers?

Process servers are the individuals responsible for taking legal papers from one party and serving them to another. When and where a legal matter rears its head, it’s impossible for the process itself to begin until both parties are aware of what’s going on. If, for example, one parent is pursuing missed child support payments from another, the accused party must be formally informed of this by way of legal papers. The papers are prepared by legal representatives and then served to the recipient by a process server – only then can the process truly begin.

Why Are Process Servers Needed?

The simple reason why process servers are needed is to ensure that the papers are delivered right into the hands of the intended recipient. Were the papers to be delivered in the post as normal or by email for example, it is far too easy for those intending to do so to pretend they never received them. Without actual hard evidence that the papers were served, the legal process cannot be started and the intended recipient can avoid the matter with relative ease.

Are Process Servers Little More Than Post-People?

In a word, no. Just because process servers carry out the job of delivering papers does not in any way mean that they could be replaced by a postman. The reason being that the job entails getting the papers directly into the hands of the intended recipient and taking away proof that this has happened. Bearing in mind the fact that the recipient may not in fact be happy about being served and may do all they can to try and avoid taking the papers, the job can be quite spectacularly difficult. Not only this, but process servers work 100% independently, are responsible for sourcing their own work and have nobody in specific to fall back on for advice or help them out. As such, in all respects the job really could not be more different than that of a post person.

Can Anyone Be a Process Server?

Taking into account the above information, the answer to this question is clearly a no. Process serving is a job that comes with enormous responsibility and demands a level of independence and professionalism which is above and beyond the capabilities of most. There’s a certain skills set required to be a process server, but even more important are the personality traits that make for a prime candidate. From strong resolve to natural confidence to tact to empathy, it’s an enormous list and one that’s comprised wholly of traits you can neither fake nor be taught. On the whole, you’re either the right kind of person to be a process server or you aren’t – you cannot teach yourself the character traits required.

Is Process Serving Dangerous?

Despite what the movies would have you believe, process serving is not in fact the terrifyingly dangerous job it appears to be. More often than not a serve will go smoothly – it’s common to encounter bad attitudes and upset individuals, but most accept that it’s in their best interests to just take the papers and cooperate, which of course it is. However, there will always be those instances in which a process server’s skills are put to the test in order to ensure their own personal safety. It could be a property guarded by a fierce dog, perhaps the recipient has a history of violence or it may be that they insist on getting a couple of hired goons to answer the door and tell you exactly what they think of you. In any and all cases the likelihood of anything bad happening are low, but this all depends on the way the process server handles the situation.

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