The Steps to Become a Process Server
The duty of a Process Server is to serve ‘due process’ on behalf of the Courts or someone proceeding with a legal case. There are responsibilities that come along with the job and it’s not an easy job at all. It is a very demanding role, where you can be faced with many different problems, issues and situations and the hours of work can vary, most work 12-15 hours per day, 7 days a week, juggling the physical Process Serving on the Respondent and then office work that comes with it.
What Should You Do First?
1. Where To Start.
You should start by finding out the legal requirements in your country or state that will allow you to serve process on behalf of a legal case. Countries like the USA require their Process Servers to be licenced within each state, whereas in the UK (at the moment), Process Serving is an unlicenced activity, with possible licencing being introduced within the next few years.
2. Gain Legal Document Knowledge
Research the different types of legal documents you as a process server can be instructed to serve. It can be good to have legal knowledge, especially when the person you are serving may ask you questions or ask for advice. A professional, knowledgeable process server is going to deliver a better service than someone who just sees it as delivering papers. Process servers are required to serve Orders granted by the County Courts, along with Divorce Petitions, Witness Summons, Demands and many other legal documents that need to be personally handed to an individual.
3. Who Are You Serving?
Process servers can serve a range of different people including members of the general public and companies. In legal terms these people are known as Debtors, Defendants and Respondents.
4. Assess Your Skills
Are you the right person for the job? Skills you should have are:
- Situational awareness
- Good sense of character
- Use of initiative
- Flexible working hours
- Good judgment
5. Gain Experience
You should ask local detective agencies or legal firms to volunteer or ask to shadow existing process servers to gain experience and knowledge. Use telephone directories and the Internet to look for suitable contacts that you may be able to gain any sort of experience or advice from.
6. Get Insured!
As it’s a very hand’s on, unpredictable job role, you are best to take out insurance to protect yourself. Professional indemnity insurance and Public Liability are the main types of cover for this industry and are an absolute MUST. You should also follow legislation policies and procedures. Better to be safe than sorry!
7. Get registered
Apply to a professional association, for example the WAPI, the World Association of Private Investigators. This is just one of many that is widely known all over the world. It gives you a more professional outlook towards employers and clients.
Written by Victoria Renshaw
Kemp Investigations and Legal Services
08444 142 145