Whether you’re a process server or just someone who’s dealt with one, you may have noticed that the job itself is often a little…misunderstood. Some think process servers are bounty hunters, while others believe they’re just glorified paper carriers. In all of this confusion, one thing remains true: the world would be a much better place if we all knew how to communicate effectively with a process server.
The point of a process server is to continue the operations of a legal situation or case. Their role is to deliver documents to someone who is a legal entity in a case. That could be for a lawsuit, contracts, or a requirement to appear before a court. Regardless of the situation, you should always treat these working professionals with the same respect and courtesy you would expect in return.
A few key reminders of how best to communicate with process servers include:
Never Be Aggressive
There is no reason to be aggressive with a process server. These are human beings performing an essential service that has been authorized and certified by the Supreme Court. They have the same rights and expectations of life as you do.
Swearing, threatening, or acting aggressively in any way towards a process server will most likely be recorded in their verification documents and passed on to the courts. That can reflect poorly on your situation, and you will want every advantage possible so that you can come out the other side as favorably as possible.
Keep the Conversation Respectful & Simple
You should be polite and respectful when you talk to a process server. Don’t argue with them, don’t be aggressive with them, don’t be rude or condescending, and definitely don’t make any threats. If you decide to be argumentative because you think it will help your case in court or whatever other reason, keep in mind that the only thing it will do is make the process server more determined to serve you.
Also, don’t ask questions that can quickly be answered with a yes or no response (in fact, avoid questions altogether if possible). And most importantly: never ever attempt sarcasm! This is not a friend or an enemy, simply someone representing a courthouse or judge.
Understand the Rights of a Process Server
Yes, a process server is conducting the business of a court, but they are also a human being afforded the same rights as you. If you act in any way violent toward a process server, you could be punished by jail time, especially if the server reports these actions to the police. The simple truth is you wouldn’t attack an Amazon delivery driver just for leaving your package at the door, so why treat a process server any different?
Keep Your Responses Limited
This is a legal case. A process server writes a detailed report that could include any language or facts you say. Do not ask the process server about their personal life. Do not ask them about their job, religious beliefs, political views, or sexual orientation. Not only is it probably none of your business, but this can also be considered harassment and could get you in trouble with law enforcement agencies. A simple “thank you” is all that needs to be said.
Think About the Judge
An easy way to communicate with a process server is to imagine a judge overseeing your interaction. You do not want a bad reputation or something as small as a poorly timed joke to make the judge look unfairly on your position. Instead, stay professional and focus your energy on contacting your legal counsel to clear up the situation so the process server can move on to their next assignment.
Wrapping it Up
Although being served is an intimidating experience, it doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable one. If you are calm and respectful with the process server, your case will run much more smoothly. It’s also a good idea to be honest about your location to avoid any further legal issues down the road. Remember that there’s no need for violence or confrontation when a process server comes knocking on your door—they’re just doing their job!
That is why all our team members at Houston Process Servers treat each client and recipient with the utmost respect and dignity. We take no sides in the cases and simply want to offer professional, reliable, and accurate service. To learn more about our team or engage with our process serving services around the greater Houston area, please use our intake form. We are happy to work with law enforcement, courts, law firms, government agencies, and other legal entities.