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The Ins and Outs of Process Serving!

Serving court documents to your debtors can be a mammoth task. When you’re already dealing with late payments, tenancy breaches, etc another task of serving papers can add to your existing troubles.

Serving legal documents to persons and businesses isn’t always as straightforward as it appears, since people may be deliberately elusive, causing you to invest a significant amount of time and money in locating them. As a result, it is prudent to hire professional process servers or agents who are familiar with a wide range of legal documents, including family law, civil disputes, and personal injury claims, to mention a few.

In this article, we intend to shed some light on the role of process servers. How and when are they used to deliver sensitive documents to a person or company as part of an ongoing legal case and setting out some scenarios that make practical sense of the subject, including:

  • What process serving is and who’s involved
  • When and how to use a process server
  • What to do if you are served
  • What to look for when choosing a process server
  • What makes Shergroup a good choice

What is process serving?

The act of process serving is the hand-delivery of court documents to a defendant for their attention either as part of court proceedings or as part of a dispute, which could be with an individual or an entity like a company. The service of process is governed by the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) in England and Wales, which govern civil litigation in these two countries. Outside of this jurisdiction, the service of the process is governed by different rules.

The purpose of process serving, as the name implies, is to notify the recipient of legal action taken against them, as mandated by the court as part of its ‘due process. Depending on the circumstances, the documents that are severed can include civil divorce proceedings, notices of bankruptcy proceedings, and statutory claims. In other situations, the paperwork may come from a court or be part of a ‘pre-action procedure,’ which requires a claimant to notify a defendant (or responder) of the action being taken against them.

A process serving company will provide you with all the details once the documents have been served. They will also give you a Certificate of Service or a Statement of Service advising which documents we have served, to whom we have served them, and when, where, and how we have served them.

The relevance of documents supplied by agents is emphasized by process serving. Receiving official documentation is often enough to cause receivers to take the problem seriously.

Who are process servers?

Process servers in London, UK are professional agents working for a legal firm who are neutral and impartial.

People who are supposed to receive legal letters can be evasive, and some even go to incredible measures to conceal their identity or establish a web of deception, so process servers must be patient and inventive. Process servers must assume a more detective-like function in these situations.

Process servers have a fair share of other challenges too. Abuse and violence against process servers are not prevalent, but because they are professionals, they can maintain their composure even intense situations. Furthermore, since door-to-door scammers become increasingly popular, our agents ensure that they can easily identify themselves to the recipients.

At Shergroup, our process servers are trained and insured. We are also professional and persistent, with an ability to investigate and track down the intended recipient. We offer this service to financial institutions, corporations, and private individuals to give notices to parties they are taking an action against.

When and how to use a process server?

There are a variety of circumstances that could lead to ‘Service of Process‘ and the hiring of a process server, as most court cases or more complex litigation require one party to notify the other of the nature of the action being taken against them – this could be in commercial or personal matters.

Some of the most common reasons to require Service of Process within England, Wales and Northern Ireland are as follows:

Within England and Wales, ‘process’ can be served via the following methods |

  • Personal service | whereby a process server hand delivers the claim form to the defendant at their place of residence (or potentially other locations).
  • First-class post.
  • Delivering the documents to a specific place, such as a solicitor’s office or a company’s registered address.
  • Other mechanisms are possible, such as fax or email, but only if this has been explicitly agreed with the defendant before this.

It’s clear from this that a process server isn’t required in all cases, especially as in some cases the courts will send out certain notifications to the other parties involved, such as in the case of debt claims where the court will mail a “Notice of Issue” to the debtor.

So, now we know that a process server isn’t required in all cases. In some cases, the court will send out certain notifications to the other parties involved directly.

A process server’s main utility is in ensuring that critical documents are served and that a record of service is received, which can be used as proof later if necessary. If you can’t establish that you followed the required pre-action protocol for your situation, the courts may demand it and punish you. It’s usually best to hire a professional process server if you or your company is responsible for ensuring the defendant ‘officially’ receives legal paperwork. A process server’s presence, of course, sends a powerful message to the other party involved.

Where should documents be served?

It is important to ensure that key court documents are delivered to the correct address. Even if the defendant tries to avoid being served, the court will look for the claimant to show that they took reasonable attempts to serve the documents. As a result, knowing the primary locations of the intended receivers is critical in the first instance. As a starting point, consider the following:

Individuals |

Their usual or last known address. If they cannot be located at this address and reasonable attempts have been made to do so, the server may try to find them at their place of work and attempt service there instead.

Individuals being sued in the name of a business or partnership |

Their usual or last known address or that of the principal or last known place of business.

A company registered or incorporated in England & Wales |

The registered address, principal office, or any of the company’s place of business that is connected with the case or conducts its operations.

An LLP |

The principal office or any place of business within England and Wales where it conducts its business and has a connection to the case.

Why shouldn’t I serve them myself?

To guarantee that the documents listed above are served on time and accurately, it is always suggested that they be served by a professional process server. Process servers are unaffected by the proceedings in any way. As a result, a Process server’s proof of service will be given more weight than a statement made by a party involved.

Serving a court order or legal papers in the UK can be a difficult task. Court orders can be served in a variety of ways. Some orders or papers can be letterboxed at the address, while others require only personal service. Some papers can be letterboxed at the address, but only if a specific procedure has been followed.

If the service is not provided in line with the law, it may impede the progress of your case or result in its dismissal. It is recommended that you engage the services of an experienced process server like Shergroup to ensure that the papers are served on time and accurately.

Summing-up

Shergroup has extensive experience in process serving services in London, UK. We’ve represented clients in all 105 postcodes in England and Wales. Our agents are well-versed in local legislation pertaining to the successful service of court documents in the jurisdictions they serve.

In addition, because of the breadth of our business activities, Shergroup is a highly skilled people tracing service, specialising in asset tracing, financial fraud investigations, and surveillance services. We have a lot of experience discovering folks who don’t want to be found.

It’s one thing to successfully serve process on someone and even obtain a court judgment against them; however, you’ll eventually need to collect on the claim, which is why Shergroup should be your preferred local or international process server because we can handle the entire process from claim to a collection.

Call the skilled team at Shergroup to explore the best strategy for you if you are ready to bring a claim against someone, whether an individual or a firm, for commercial or personal reasons.

Call us today to kick-start how we can help to serve legal notices on behalf of you.

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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