A process server delivers legal documents related to civil cases in a court of law. This could be something as small as a notice you need to appear as a witness to something far more critical, like a class action lawsuit against your business. For that reason, many people try to avoid being served by lying about their whereabouts or identity. So, is this legal activity?
Process Servers are not Officers of the Law
The short answer is that you can lie to a process server, but you have to keep in mind a few caveats. There are gray areas where you could be considered “Preventing Execution of Civil Process” under the Texas Penal Code. That states any person committing an offense by intentionally or knowingly by words or physical action prevents the execution of any process.
There is an exception, and that relates to evading service. In other words, you can lie about who you are and if you are home or not, but if the process server knows you are lying and hands you the documents, then you are officially served.
This is an area where contacting a lawyer is the best option. Once there is a legal proceeding against you, it makes way more sense to accept the documents you are being served and hash out your differences and legal actions in court. The process server is just a messenger. Their goal is to deliver documents from point A to point B.
A Futile Lie
A professional process server team like ours at Houston Process Servers follows strict guidelines over how we act and perform our duties. When someone is being intentionally evasive, we document everything and then refer that to the client or court. That often leads to an amended server situation where we can send documentation via mail.
In other words, you cannot evade being served forever. Even if someone lies on your behalf, thinking they are helping, all that is happening is you are prolonging an event that people want to conclude sooner than later.
You should also know that process servers are diligent in their reporting. You can lie to them all you want, but if they are anything like our team, they will document the interaction. While a process server may have no feeling one way or the other on a case, a judge that sees numerous instances of evasion, lies, or mistreatment of a process server may not look favorably on your position when a court date is finally set.
Can a Process Server Lie to Me?
Process Servers have to follow strict guidelines to maintain their business operations. That includes ethical treatment of people being served documents. While some tactics are understandable to reach a target, you should expect a process server to treat you with dignity, professionalism, and honesty about who they are and what they are doing.
We at Houston Process Servers take this seriously because we recognize the importance of our role in the legal system. Courts, law enforcement, legal teams, government agencies, and many other entities rely on our discretion and ability to perform. That includes acting professionally, so there are no errors or reasons for concern in a court. The last thing we would ever want is a case to go south because our team did anything outside the realm of appropriate behavior.
This is why we always emphasize the importance of hiring an experienced and reputable service team. Once a situation needs legal services, it does not make sense to risk the outcome because of a process server that lies or doesn’t document the actions of someone being served.
If you would like reliable and honest process serving services in the greater Houston, Texas area, use our intake form at Houston Process Servers. We are ready to deliver a timely attempt of your documents, so you get the verification and expertise needed to continue moving forward with your case.