Many private detectives find investigative process service to be a valuable part of their case assignments and a terrific way to supplement their income. Process service is one of the easiest and steadiest ways to make money in the private investigation industry and it also provides investigative professionals the chance to get up close and personal to the subjects of their investigations.
Process service is defined as the delivery of legal papers drafted to exercise jurisdiction over the recipient. There are a wide range of legal papers which may be served by private investigators. There are also a number of accepted methods of service which depend greatly on the exact nature of the case, the papers involved and the vicinity in which they are served.
Legal papers which must be served come in many varieties, including, but not limited to summonses, subpoenas duces tecum, subpoenas ad testificandum, orders, writs, judgments, complaints and affidavits. In a busy legal market, the vast number of cases going on at any one time will keep hundreds or even thousands of dedicated process servers busy full time. Being that investigators are out in the field daily anyway and often visit the same government entities, doctors offices and municipal agencies frequently, serving papers to these recipients is a great way to maximize efficiency and spread billing across several cases, providing better value to each client, while getting the case work finished fast. Private investigators who can also serve process present a win/win scenario for client and detective alike.
In order to serve process legally in some jurisdictions, a server may have to be licensed or bonded. In most cases, the server must be 18 years old and not a party to the legal action involved in the service. It is recommended to always stay informed about the exact requirements of legally serving process in your area and the surrounding communities, so that you can easily comply with any special considerations which must be met.
Process service can be achieved in person, by simply handing the papers to the target recipient. In some cases, substitute service is allowed, in which case the papers may be left with an adult relative or designated representative of the target recipient. Service to a registered agent is common when serving some corporations, especially those that do business in multiple locations, but do not maintain centralized offices in every market. Finally, service by mail is perfectly acceptable in some cases or as a last or only resort.
A good investigator will always take the chance to learn as much as possible when serving an opposing party in a litigation. They will often document the person’s behavior and appearance, speech and mannerisms, so that follow up surveillance will be easy and enlightened. Of course, it is always advisable to have more than one investigator on this type of case, since it would be foolish to use the same operative to both serve and later follow the target, since the risk of being recognized will be high.
Sensei Adam Rostocki
Adam Rostocki spent many years working as a trial preparation investigation specialist in the New York Metropolitan area. His website, Private-Investigator-Info.Org details everything you need to know about Process Service. For more information, please visit his Private Investigator web resource today.