Monday, June 22, 2015

Service of Process/Serving Papers

Using information provided by the client, we serve papers on various people.  The client provides us with the papers and instructions and we in turn provide proof of service.

We’ve served, or done service for, prominent people such as sports stars, celebrity photographers, entertainers, movie actors, models, and people whose names have been in the news.  Confidentiality is the name of the game.  We have served papers on many, many people in varied circumstances.  We served a popular burlesque performer (after the show, of course).   To get the job done, we have waited for the subject to appear at a place they are known to frequent.  Sometimes we wait for a few hours, and sometimes we only wait a few minutes; when good planning and luck come together.

Most people who are being served are polite and civil, though usually they are surprised. But most understand we are performing a delivery service, and have nothing personal to do with the lawsuit or subject of the papers we are bringing to them. 

Other people don’t react very well to being served and we’ve been sworn and yelled at, had things thrown at us; like the papers.  By the way, even if they do throw the papers at us, or refuse to put their hand out and take them from us, it is still considered a good serve.  A few times a subject has attempted to follow us, but that is rare and we discourage their ability to do so.  Most of the time, they never see where we came from, where we left from, or what we were driving.  This is not a job without risk, and we do everything we can to reduce that risk. 

We like “difficult serves”.   Sometimes the subject knows it is coming, or is hiding out for various reasons.  Usually more people are looking for them, than just paper servers.  The circumstances may be that the person has been involved in the court system for a long time, or been served before, or has moved several times.  They may have tried to hide behind other people’s names, and so, when we find them, they are not pleased.  These are very rewarding assignments because of the expertise, persistence and skill needed to get the job done.  Also, these serves cost more because they use more resources.

Here is a link to the rules on serving papers in Washington State:

The present “trespass defense statute” we have today was made law in 1986. The statute provides for an exemption from prosecution for persons serving legal process who go onto another person’s property. The statute is found in RCW 9A.52.090(4): In any prosecution under RCW 9A.52.070 and 9A.52.080, it is a defense that:

“The actor was attempting to serve legal process which includes any document required or allowed to be served upon persons or property, by any statute, rule, ordinance, regulation or court order, excluding delivery by the mails of the United States. This defense applies only if the actor did not enter into a private residence or other building not open to the public and entry onto the premises was reasonable and necessary for service of legal process.”


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